A leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has insisted that the party’s National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu must vacate his seat before the commencement of campaign for the 2023 elections.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) timetable, the campaign will commence in 28 days with the presidential and National Assembly polls kicking off the series.
As a special guest at a project commissioning in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital on Thursday, George said it was unfair for the National Chairman, presidential candidate and Chairman of the Board of Trustees(BoT) of the the party to be from the same zone.
While Ayu is from Benue State (North Central zone), the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is from Adamawa State (North East zone) and Senator Walid Jubril, the BoT Chairman is from Nasarawa State (North Central).
George said the right thing to do is for Ayu to vacate his seat before the campaign, as it would not be right to go into the campaign with a divided house.
According to him what Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike is asking for is the right thing, in the interest of justice, peace and unity of the party.
Wike has been on the frontline in the quest of some PDP chieftains to oust Ayu.
At the same ceremony earlier, Wike had responded to Ayu’s description of those opposed to his chairmanship as “children”, who were not around when the party was founded in 1998.
In an interview with BBC Hausa on Wednesday, Ayu had said: “I have not violated any rules; in fact, I am working to bring reforms to the party. I am truly not bothered by the unnecessary controversy being generated. When we started PDP, these children were not around. They are children who do not know why we formed the party. We will not allow any individual to destabilise our party”.
In response, Wike threatened to assist Ayu and the PDP lose the 2023 presidential election, describing the party chairman as a greedy man who was only after his interest.
He said it was obvious that Ayu wanted the PDP to lose in 2023 and he was willing to assist him achieve that goal.
“You can imagine what power can do. You can imagine the ingratitude; how people can be ingrates in their lives. I thought as a chairman of a party who wants to win elections, your business is to bring peace to your party; your business is not to divide your party. Your business is not to show arrogance to your party.
“Yes, the children brought you to be chairman of the party. The children brought you from the gutter to make you chairman. Doctor Ayu said we are children. Yes, the children brought you from the gutter to make you chairman. Now we have seen that you don’t want the party to win election, we will help you.
“Ayu, you said you founded this party, but you left the party in 2007. You founded a company, you left the company, people stood and brought out the company to what it is today, you have no moral right to still come and claim that you founded that company, you left with your shares. You want to show integrity, you want to show a party to Nigeria that we want to take over, you must convince Nigerians that we have the integrity. You are the driver that will drive the vehicle to convey us to go our destination. That is the victory we are looking for. If the driver has no integrity and cannot show honesty, how do you convince Nigerians? If you tell Nigerians something and cannot do it, is it when you enter into power that you will do it”?