There are indications that the wrangling within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is still simmering with resentment among members, as supporters of Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, have maintained that the national chairman of the party, Ayorchia Ayu, must go.
The PDP had been enmeshed in crisis after the presidential primary and the emergence of Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as running mate to Atiku.
Efforts to reconcile the quarrel between Governor Wike and Atiku in the aftermath of the presidential primary and the selection of a running mate had been futile.
But the Rivers State governor’s camp disclosed at the weekend that while they would work for the party, national chairman must resign forthwith.
According to them, Ayu had promised he would resign if a northerner eventually become the flagbearer of the PDP, but is now reluctant to keep to his words.
Speaking during a conversation in LEADERSHIP Twitter Spaces, the senior special assistant (SSA) to Governor Wike on media, Marshal Obuzor, said his principal had already discussed with them on the need to work for the success of Atiku, but insisted that Ayu must honour his promise to step down if a northerner emerges as the presidential candidate of the party.
Obuzor who said the PDP is not heading for implosion noted that without unity the main opposition party can’t win the 2023 presidential election.
“Our governor met with all the stakeholders and told them that national chairman must honour his promise and resign.”
Obuzor also noted that the present crisis will not affect the chances of their gubernatorial candidate in Rivers State.
“It will not affect the governorship candidate in the state because the electorate are literate and they make their choices. Wike has performed, PDP has performed, ” he stated,.
On allegations levelled on Ayu over N1 billion bribe, Obuzor said the governor challenged Ayu who is still unable to speak on the matter.
On whether Wike struggle is for personal gain, Obuzor said he is working for the interest of the Southern people.
The ,media aide continued: “Yes, he is working for the South. People work for interest. Let them honour agreement before getting to power. Overtime, there are things Wike accepts and some he can’t accept. Wike fought APC when others were quiet. He fought about the IPOB when others were quiet. PDP must put its axe together. If we must win”.
Also speaking, the chairman of Emohua local government area of Rivers State, Hon Chidi Lloyd, said Wike is a party man and is the only candidate who said he will take any outcome of the election, insisting that Ayu should also honour his agreement.
He stayed: “Why will Ayu not resign since he said he will resign? The constitution of our party demands equity, fairness. Who jettisoned the constitution and the party threw the ticket open?
“Ayu must make sacrifices. It’s not about Wike. Other governors such as the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, former Governor of Cross Rivers State Donald Duke, Prof Jerry Gana and several others are also saying the same thing so it is not about Wike. What is going on is unhealthy. Rivers has 3.5 million votes. Wike has the confidence of the electorate.”
Also, a right activist, Deji Adeyanju”, however, said the APC will have a field day in the next election, noting that it is not because it deserves it but that the Wike/Atiku crisis, the Peter Obi and the Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso movements are already shrinking the PDP votes.
But a PDP member, Henry Shield, said while Wike has gotten everything in the PDP, he shot himself on the leg with his last media chat.
“Wike has shot himself on the foot. Everyone that wins Wike is in trouble. Atiku will not trust Wike, Obi will not trust Wike, Tinubu will not trust Wike, ” he said.
Also, former member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly and former commissioner of Education in the state, Prof Usman Modibbo, said it is not easy for the opposition to unseat a ruling government, adding that the PDP must put its house together.
“PDP will lose the South East. All the issues are ego. Atiku has an ego, Wike has his own ego. They must sit and make sure they resolve their issues before the election. Who are they going to put when they remove Ayu?” Modibbo queried.
Also lending his voice, a PDP member from Edo State, Barr Antho Ehilebo, said the governors of the PDP had not asked the party chairman to resign, adding that the party will get out of its troubles.
The special assistant to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Sarah Igunbor, said they were having challenges in the PDP, but it will not implode the party.
She said Governor Wike was not genuine on where the ticket should go, adding that fairness demands that the ticket should have been taken to the south East.
“Wike has made a lot of contributions to the party. But he was not sincere about wanting the chairman to come to the South,” she said.
Also, a multi- media journalist, public relations specialist and a pharmacist, Dr Kemi Olunlowo, said Atiku cannot campaign in the South without Wike, pointing out that Wike would be instrumental to his success.