The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, a chieftain of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bode George and others have expressed anger over the remarks by the party’s national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu to the effect that those who were calling on him to resign “are children”who were not there when the party was formed.
Reacting to the chairman’s comment today, September 1, Governor Wike said that those he referred to as children, were the ones that made him chairman of the party.
“hese children you said we are, brought you from nothing.”
Wike who spoke during the commissioning of Omerelu Internal roads in the Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state, said: “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 the 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 (former President Olusegun) Obasanjo in his administration two times. Arrogance cannot take you anywhere.”
Wike challenged Ayu to show himself as a man of honour and integrity by fulfilling his promise that he would vacate the chairmanship seat if the northern region produces the presidential candidate of the party.
Also reacting, Bode George condemned Ayu’s comment saying that his comments show that he is immature and childish, asking him to watch his language going forward.
George, who is former Deputy National Chairman of the party, said: “When a serving national chairman of our party is calling elected governors that they are children. Does he think that children don’t grow? Or there is a life perpetual on him? We need to watch our language. It shows to me that it is him who is immature.”
He said that Ayu should vacate his position for a Southerner to take over before the 2023 elections, adding that the tussle about the party’s chairmanship must be immediately resolved.
“We are not begging for it; we demand it because it is our right.”
He argued that it is unfair that the PDP chairman; presidential candidate and PDP Board of Trustees Chairman are all from the North.
He said the right thing to do is for Ayu to vacate his seat before the campaign, as it will not be right to go into the campaign with a divided house.
George added that what Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is asking for is the right thing, in the interest of justice, peace and unity of the party.
Dr. Ayu had insisted that he will not succumb to calls from PDP members loyal to Wike for him to resign his position.
He said that such calls are coming from political amateurs who lack a basic understanding of PDP’s principles, saying that he was elected by Nigerians and PDP members based on PDP’s guidelines.
According to reports, after losing the PDP presidential primary to former Vice Presidential Atiku Abubakar (from Adamawa State); Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, outlined conditions for remaining within the party.
One of the reported conditions is that Ayu, who hails from Benue State, also in northern Nigeria, must resign.
But in his response, Ayu stressed that he will not resign because some people are not comfortable with having him around.
“I was voted as PDP national chairman to serve for four years, I am not even a year old on the position,” Ayu said during an interview with BBC Hausa.
“Atiku’s victory at the national primaries has no nothing to do with the party’s leadership; I was the bonafide winner of the election. We acted within the dictates of the PDP constitution.
“I have not violated any rules; in fact, I am working to bring reforms to the party. I am truly not bothered by the unnecessary controversy being generated.”