Wike replies Ayu: Be humble and relinquish chairmanship position

Chris Ezeonoh, Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, on Thursday, took a swipe at the National Chairman of PDP, Dr Iyiorcha Ayu, over his comment that those asking him to resign as chairman of PDP were children when the party was formed.

Wike said Ayu’s remarks smack of arrogance, insincerity, lack of integrity and dishonesty which, according to him, could jeopardize the electoral fortunes of the party in the 2023 general elections.

Governor Wike spoke at the inauguration of Omerelu internal roads in Ikwerre Local Government Area performed by Chief Olabode George, former South-West Deputy National Chairman of PDP on Thursday.

The governor explained that he had expected Senator Ayu, as chairman of the party, to unite all aggrieved members and galvanize them for the 2023 elections without division, so that PDP could clinch electoral victory. But instead of doing that, Senator Ayu has shown ingratitude by describing elected Governors of States, who supported his quest as party chairman, as children.

“Dr Ayu said we are children. Yes, the children brought you to be chairman of the party. The children brought you from the gutter and made you chairman. Ayu, you were impeached as Senate President. Ayu was sacked by Obasanjo in his administration two times. Arrogance cannot take you anywhere. Now, we have seen that you don’t want the party to win the election, we’ll help you.”

The governor dismissed the claim by Senator Ayu, who had said that he is one of the founding members of the PDP. He emphasised that Senator Ayu abandoned the PDP at one time, moved to another party and therefore cannot have equal stakes with those who had stayed back to rebuild the party.

Governor Wike explained that Senator Ayu had, by self-volition, promised to relinquish his chairmanship as a northerner if an aspirant from the north eventually emerged as the presidential candidate of the PDP. The governor told Senator Ayu to be a man of honour and keep his promise by relinquishing that position.

He pointed out that if Senator Ayu carries on with his arrogance, the PDP governors, whom he had described as children, will make him know that he is a prodigal father.

“A man, who is inconsistent and ran away from the party, telling those of us who spent our time, sleepless nights to make sure this party does not go down, we are children. Now, you have the temerity, the audacity to tell us we are children. We will tell you that you are the prodigal father.”

Governor Wike said Nigerians are watching the unfolding events and eventually be told how to be more careful with their votes with somebody with a character like Senator Ayu.

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“Nigerians have seen how ungrateful some of you can be, and that’s why also Nigerians must be careful. If we give this manpower, if we give these people power, are you sure they will also be grateful to Nigerians? As you make your bed, so you will lie on it. I’ve been quiet thinking that we will reconcile. Now that you have brought in arrogance to say you were elected, where did you campaign? Show me where your poster was, anywhere in this state.”

Commenting on the project, Governor Wike said he is sure that the Omerelu people are better witnesses that his administration had promised to execute development projects for them and has fulfilled the promise.

Performing the inauguration of the project, former South-West Deputy National Chairman of PDP, Chief Olabode George, declared that the issue of the National Chairman of PDP must be addressed before the commencement of the campaign for the 2023 general election.

He said it is an antithesis and against the norm and culture of PDP for the positions of the Presidential Candidate, National Chairman and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees to be occupied by persons from one section of the country.

“Party members from the south are already feeling alienated. PDP is not a private company. So, before we start the presidential campaign at the end of this month, the National Chairman must go to the south. That is what Governor Wike is saying and as a life member of the Board of Trustees of our party, I support this position 100 per cent.

“Statutorily, it is the National Chairman, who hands over the party’s flag to our presidential candidate. How will party members from the South feel when they see that at all political rallies southerners have no public political representation.”

Chief George maintained that this constitutes a fundamental flaw and lack of inclusiveness which will be diametrically opposed to the original thinking of the founding fathers of the PDP.

He urged party members to be united in their determination to ensure that the PDP returns to the Presidential Villa in Abuja by May 29, 2023.

“But we can only go back to Aso Rock if we are united and not divided. Some people are abusing Governor Wike, he is a troubleshooter. Those abusing him, as an elder and as a father in this party, I am directing them, they must stop immediately.

“Because Governor Wike is only fighting for injustice, for equity, for fairness in our party. He is not only a strong pillar in this party but a mobiliser, a financier and an actualizer.

“Since he joined the PDP, he has not left this party. Am also a founding father of the party and since 1998 I have not left this party.”

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