Tayo Busayo, Abuja – Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Thursday, slammed the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Iyorchia Ayu, for showing “ingratitude” and “arrogance” after he was assisted to get the seat of the national chairmanship of the party.
“Dr Ayu said we are children. Yes, the children brought you to be chairman of the party, the children brought you from the gutter to make you chairman. These children you said we are, brought you from nothing”, the governor said, during the commissioning of Omerelu Internal roads in the Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
The Rivers governor was reacting to an earlier remark by Ayu, who described those calling for his resignation as the party chairman as “babies”, who were not around when the party was formed.
DAILY COURIER reports that Ayu, who spoke on Wednesday, during an interview with BBC Hausa Service, was also reacting to reported calls for his resignation over the lingering crisis in the PDP.
“I was voted as PDP Chairman for a four-year tenure and I’m yet to complete a year. Atiku’s victory doesn’t affect the Chairman’s position. I won my election based on our party’s constitution.
“I didn’t commit any offence, I’m only reforming the party so I’m not bothered with all the noises. I know I’m doing my work and I didn’t steal any money so I see no reason for all these talks.
“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”, Ayu said on Wednesday.
But in response to Ayu’s defiance to remain as PDP National chairman, Wike challenged him to show himself as a man of honour and integrity by fulfilling his promise that he would vacate the chairmanship seat if the presidential candidate of the party emerged from the northern part of the country.
“Somebody said those of you who said the right thing must be done are boys, they are children. You can imagine what power can do. You can imagine how ingratitude, how people can be ingrates.
“I thought as a chairman of a party who wants to win the election, your business is to bring peace to the party; your business is not to divide your party, your business is not to show arrogance.
“Dr Ayu said we are children. Yes, the children brought you to be chairman of the party, the children brought you from the gutter to make you chairman.
“Ayu, you were impeached as Senate President, Ayu, you were sacked by Obasanjo in his administration two times. Arrogance cannot take you anywhere”, he said.
Wike also charged that the N14 billion PDP realised from the sale of nomination forms of primaries last May must be judiciously used.
On his part, former deputy national chairman (South) of the PDP, Chief Olabode George, also urged Dr Iyorchia Ayu, to do the needful by resigning as the party’s national chairman.
George said his call to Ayu was predicated on the fact that the party’s national chairman had earlier promised to quit if a northerner like him emerged as the PDP’s presidential candidate for the 2023 elections, in order to ensure some balance.
He called on aggrieved members of the party to close rank for the benefit of the party.
George spoke when he commissioned Omerelu Internal roads on Thursday, in Rivers State.
The comments are the latest in the calls for Ayu to quit the party’s chairmanship after former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar (from Adamawa State) emerged as the presidential candidate of the PDP in May.
Ayu, who hails from Benue State in Northern Nigeria, had last October said he would vacate the chairmanship seat, but on Wednesday, said he won’t resign.
Earlier, the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Walid Jibrin, and a northerner from Nasarawa State agreed that it is unfair for the party to have its presidential candidate and national chairman from the same region.