Patrick Kelechi, Lagos – The crisis rocking the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), is far from over, as the South West Chapter of the party has insisted that the National Chairman of the party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, must step down from his position and allow a southerner to become the Chairman.
This is as the Presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, also insisted that there is the need to follow the party’s constitution in any decision to be taken by the party, saying that Ayu’s removal and his replacement by a southerner can only be done through an amendment to the party’s constitution.
Speaking on behalf of the South West PDP Stakeholders and leaders in Ibadan, Wednesday, during the hosting of the Presidential Candidate and Vice Presidential Candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar and Ifeanyi Okowa respectfully, the South West PDP leaders, speaking through Governor Makinde, said the party should prevail on Ayu to step down to ensure an all-inclusiveness.
“The issue is that we must practice what we preach. If we want to unify Nigeria, we must unify the PDP first. If we want to restructure Nigeria, we must bring inclusivity to our party.
“For us, what you can do for us before the election so that our messages can resonate, is that inclusivity must be reflected in PDP moving towards the election.
“The South West is asking that the National Working Committee should be restructured, such that what we have now, where our Presidential Candidate is from the North East, the PDP Chairman from the North Central, the Director General of the Campaign is from the North West is changed. We must restructure what we have by telling the National Chairman to resign, so that the PDP in the South will feel included in the top hierarchy of the party, that is the message.”
Responding, Alhaji Atiku said he is a founding member of the party and that he is not bothered and has no problem with where any member comes from.
“Therefore, what Governor Makinde is calling for, must come out from our constitution, our convention, our procedure, those institutions must guide our decision. We cannot do something like that unless our constitution is amended.
“Of course, we don’t say people should not have different views, but we must go through our rules, regulations, and practices, otherwise we cannot give this country the leadership we want.”