Former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Olabode George, has called for the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
Naija News reports that the PDP has been in a turbulent state after its presidential primaries which produced Atiku Abubakar as the flag bearer of the party.
Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike and his supporters have been calling for the resignation of the party national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu for peace to be restored to the party.
Wike’s camp is insisting that the party’s presidential candidate and national chairman cannot come from the same zone.
Reacting to the rift, George stated that the present situation which has the national chairman and the presidential candidate of the party from the north can no longer stand.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos on Thursday, George insisted that Ayu’s refusal to resign has sent a message to members of the PDP in the South that they don’t matter.
He said, “In May this year, we elected our presidential candidate in the person of Atiku Abubakar, setting aside the principle of rotation as enshrined in the constitution of our party in the interest of peace and unity of our party. Today, we are in a situation in which our National Chairman is from the same zone as our presidential candidate.
“Some people are insisting that there is nothing wrong with this present arrangement. Some have argued that this happened during Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, where the candidate and the national chairman were from the same zone.”
Speaking further, he stated that there is a big difference between Obansanjo’s situation and the present crisis maintaining that Ahmadu Ali the then party chairman was about to finish his tenure.
He revealed that Ayu had stated that he would resign if the presidential candidate comes from the north, but he has failed to keep his promise.
He wondered how they would guarantee that all the zones would be well represented if they take over power when they could not keep a promise they made within the party.
George added, “Dr Ayu promised openly, before the presidential primary in May, to resign, if the Presidential Candidate emerges from the North. So, why has he refused to honour his words? Why is he reneging? What is driving his reluctance not to resign?
“We are promising Nigerians that when we get to the government, every tribe will have a say in government but now, how do we want Nigerians to trust us when we cannot fulfil a simple promise? Our National Chairman pledged and in such a short time he has broken the pledge.
“Our party members from the South are now asking the following questions patently:
“Have we thrown our integrity to the dogs?
“How will Southern PDP leaders convince their electorate to vote for our candidate when there is no substantial National position in the Southwest?”
He maintained that If they remained divided the party and the country would end up going nowhere, adding that the same myopic thinking being displayed in the party was what led to the collapse of the first and second republics.
He wondered if the North would remain calm if the situation were reversed
He said, Let me declare categorically that the positions of Presidential Candidate and National Chairman cannot come from the same zone. Period!”
George added that the vote of confidence supposedly passed on Ayu and the party’s NWC at its National Executive Committee meeting could not hold sway because most Southern members of NEC were absent from the meeting.
This article was originally published on Naija News