Ayu Can’t Lead PDP To Victory, Wike Insists

The Evangelist
November 2, 2022
By Adamu KABIR

There is no end in sight to the protracted conflict between five Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors and the embattled national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu.
Yesterday, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike fired another salvo at Ayu, saying that he cannot lead the main opposition party to victory in next year’s presidential election.
Also, his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, said PDP can only ignore the five governors at a great risk, insisting that Ayu should resign as chairman.
Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi said he would seek alliance with the five aggrieved governors because they are patriots.

But the PDP Presidential Campaign Council fired back, saying that there will not be a repeat of the 2015 scenario when the party was hit by defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Wike, Ortom and Governors Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), have been protesting Ayu’s refusal to quit as chairman, following the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as presidential candidate.
They maintained that since the national chairman had promised to resign, he should fulfill his promise.
Wike insisted that Ayu should vacate his office, adding that he lacks the capacity to lead the party to victory.

The governor said no amount of blackmail and abuses against him and his colleagues will make them to back down on their demand that the chairmanship of the party should be ceded to the South before next year’s polls.

The governor spoke at the Government House in Port Harcourt when the management of New Telegraph Newspaper, led by the Managing Director and Editor- in-Chief, Mr. Ayodele Aminu, presented its letter nominating him as the Political Icon of the Year, 2022.
A statement by the governor’s Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said the governor observed that the PDP was currently marginalising a section of the country.
Wike said since zoning and inclusion had been jettisoned in the PDP, convincing Nigerians to believe that the party could rescue the country was becoming a more difficult task.
He recalled that Ayu had promised to resign, if the presidential candidate of the party emerged from the North.

The governor said his allies had resolved to continue the demand for the return of the national chairmanship to the South.
He said: “He made that commitment because he knows that it will not be equitable. There will be no fairness and justice if the presidential candidate comes from the same zone with him. And people are trivialising the issue. Why do you trivialise the issue?”
“If you like, abuse us the way you want to abuse us, but we will stand by what we have said. If you say you will not relinquish that position to the South, no problem.
“Go ahead, but you can’t force us to do what we think is not right. We will not do it. So, this kind of man cannot, in all honesty, take this party to any victory. He cannot.”

Wike berated former PDP presidential aspirant Dele Momodu for trivialising the issues affecting the party and seeking cheap recognition.
He said: “All these professional praise singers and beggars who have nothing to offer, just to rally round the presidential candidate, looking for what they will eat, are beginning to abuse people.
“Those, who even contested the primary without one vote are those who are talking. A presidential aspirant becoming a spokesperson to a presidential candidate.”
Wike described Momodu as an unstable character, whose words could not be taken seriously.

The governor said peace and security would remain elusive across Nigeria, if the majority tribes, and those who thought they had dominance over others, continued to marginalise them.
Wike said for Nigeria to survive, all Nigerians must see themselves as equal stakeholders in the project called Nigeria.
He said: “The problem in this country today is not only as a result of the banditry or kidnapping. No. Part of the issue that has to do with security is the issue of marginalisation.

“And I continue to tell our people or those who believe that they are dominant, you need peace for you to preside over those who you think do not have the number. You need peace. If there is no peace, it will be difficult.”
The governor also blamed the media for being part of the problem of Nigeria because they have lost the courage to speak truth to power and hold leaders accountable.
In Makurdi, capital of Benue State, Ortom said unless the issues raised by the five governors are resolved, it will be difficult to predict the chance of PDP in 2023.

Addressing supporters at the party secretariat during the inauguration of the state campaign council, he said: “Those who said five governors did not matter are doing the party a disservice.”
Ortom added: “There is no way PDP will win elections with the kind of massive conflict they have, especially, with the five governors we are talking about. Those who won election in their respective states and you think you can ignore them.”

The governor urged the PDP leadership to resolve the conflict in the interest of the party.
Ortom said: “But if a particular candidate said Governor Ortom does not matter, the leader of the party in Benue did not matter, Benue votes do not matter, that is where we will have issue.”
The governor announced the donation of 25 campaign vehicles by Wike to Benue PDP.
He further disclosed that the five PDP governors will be in Benue State next Monday to commission projects.
The Director-General, Benue PDP Campaign Council, Dr.Cletus Ityoikyaa, said with the inuguaration , the party was set to win all elections in 2023.

However, a PDP campaign spokesman, Charles Aniagwu, said the PDP was moving on in spite of the challenges in the party.
He said: “In spite of what you see as challenges in our party, we are already moving on. The train has left the station, which is why we are campaigning.
“We are the only party that has gone to three states to campaign officially. None of the other parties has been able to do that. It was only the other day that one of the parties met somewhere in Nasarawa State and of course you saw what happened in terms of the gathering.

“So, the PDP is very ready to move ahead in line with the timelines because nothing is stopping us. Our presidential candidate, his running mate and the leadership of our party are indeed very interested in recovering our country from where we are today”.Also, the Director of Strategic Communication of the PDP campaign, Chief Dele Momodu, said Atiku has got the right policies that speak to the need of the people.
Momodu said the PDP has been extremely good to Nigerians in terms of all the indices of development, adding however, that some Nigerians might see the party as being fatigued at this point in time.

He said: “When a party has been in power for the number of years we were in power, our people will see us as been fatigued, as old. But our job is to tell them that Nigeria today is in a precarious state and if we do not have an experienced person to manage it, the prediction that Nigeria will collapse can happen easily.

“That is why we say, we do not have time for experiments. We need a man that can hit the ground running from day one. We need a man who knows every part of Nigeria. There is no candidate today who has had a national assignment among the candidates than Atiku.
“We are talking about the most experienced, most productive Vice President like Atiku Abubakar, a man who has been able to employ young people from every part of the country.
“It is very easy to say I can do this and I can do that. But the person who can tell you what he can do is the person who has done it before in his private and public life. That is Atiku Abubakar”.

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