PDP: Wike dismisses Jibrin’s resignation, insists Ayu must go

Nyesom Wike, right, and Iyorchia Ayu

Rivers Governor, Nyesom on Thursday said he will not give up the fight for the removal of Sen. Iyorcha Ayu as the national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Wike spoke in Port Harcourt, his state capital, as other chieftains of PDP were busy at the National Executive Council, NEC of their party in Abuja where they passed a vote of confidence on Ayu.

Earlier, Walid Jibrin, the octogenarian chairman of Board of Trustees of PDP had also resigned his position in a move believed to be aimed at meeting the demands of Wike and his allies that Northerners are occupying the major national executive position of PDP, including holding the presidential ticket.

Jibrin, from Nasarawa State in North central Nigeria was replaced by former Senate President Adolphus Wabara from Abia, in South east Nigeria.

Also, Aminu Tambuwal, the governor of Sokoto State also resigned at the ongoing National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja in a move believed to be part of the ‘de-nothernisation’ plan.

He was replaced by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State in the South west Nigeria.

Analysts said PDP NEC vote of confidence on Ayu means that members of the party are not ready to support his removal for office as being canvassed for by Wike.

However, immediate reaction of the Rivers Governor to events at Abuja Wadata House Secretariat of the party was that Jibrin’s resignation is not a substitute for his insistence of Ayu’s vacation of office.

Wike, backed his demand for removal of the former senator with claim that Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the party had told him after he won to be the party’s flag bearer that Ayu must must vacate his position as PDP chairman.

“When we finished our convention on a Saturday to Sunday, the candidate of the party (Atiku) came to see me in my house in Abuja on Monday around 10:30am…The candidate told me: ‘I want us to work together’ and then he said, ‘Look, Ayu must go’.

“I said why? He said because when a candidate comes from the north, the chairman will come from the south. And I am saying, implement what you told me. What offence have I committed? It has nothing to do with Wike; it has to do with integrity.

“I challenge the presidential candidate to deny this. If he denies this, I will go further to say so many things to Nigerians because enough is enough,” the governor said on Thursday during the commissioning of the Ahoada Campus of the Rivers State University in the Ahoada East Local Government Area of the state.

Wike therefore said the resignation of Jibrin is not a substitute for the demand for Ayu’s resignation.

“This fight we will fight it to the end,” he said while emphasizing that having produced the presidential candidate of the party, the north should not also hold on to the chairmanship of the party.

“Some of you don’t know what is happening. You are being deceived; they are telling you Wike is causing problem. Wike is not causing problem; Wike is bringing peace to the country. Wike is advocating for justice, Wike is advocating for equity, and Wike is advocating for fairness.

“We have finished with presidential primary. It is over and it is over. So, when people say, ‘You want to destroy the party because you didn’t win the primary’, I think they are sick, they have some mental problem.”

He also said his demand for Ayu’s resignation was not because he lost the presidential ticket of PDP to Atiku.

“In a contest, there must be a winner, there must be a loser. I have no regrets. We contested election very well and we are not ashamed,” Wike said.

He added that Ayu, before the national convention of the party in May, made a promise to resign should a northern presidential candidate emerge at the primary.

“When the North-Central met in the house of Governor Bala Mohammed, governor of Bauchi State, he (Ayu) said so there. When the he met the caucus of the Senate, he told them that.”

“They have today told the BoT chairman to resign. Who is talking about the chairman of BoT? What is the role of the BoT? BoT is an advisory body. We have never zoned BoT. BoT is an advisory body; BoT is not a decision-making body.

“Those who run (the party) as it is today is the presidential candidate and the chairman of the party. The chairman of the party and the candidate or the President as the case may be are the ones that take decisions.

“The candidate is from the north, the chairman is from the north. Who will represent the south in the decision-making of the party? You have taken the candidate of the party. Yes, we have agreed. You can’t take the two major positions of a party. You cannot,” he added.