Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Thursday demanded that Iyorchia Ayu should step down as the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Wike said the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, had let him know when he won the May primary that Ayu should leave his seat as party 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 10:30 am…The candidate told me: ‘I want us to work together and then he said, ‘Look, Ayu must go’.
“I said why? He said that when a candidate comes from the north, the chairman will come from the south. And I am saying, implement what you told me. What offense 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 was at the occasion alongside his counterpart, the Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.
The governor said the resignation of Walid Jibril as the Board of Trustees chairman won’t stop his demand for Ayu’s removal. “This fight we will fight it to the end,” he said.
According to Wike, the main thing is that of justice and fairness, saying having delivered the presidential candidate of the party, the north shouldn’t likewise clutch the chairmanship of the party.
The governor said, “Some of you don’t know what is happening. You are being deceived; they are telling you Wike is causing problems. Wike is not causing problems; 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.”
The governor further explained as an affront, a statement credited to the former governor of Niger State, Babangide Aliyu, that he (Wike) is obliterating the party since he lost the primary to Atiku.
“In a contest, there must be a winner, there must be a loser. I have no regrets. We contested the election very well and we are not ashamed,” Wike said.
Wike brought to mind that Ayu, before the national convention of the party in May, guarantee to leave his position should a northern presidential candidate emerge at the primary.
The governor explained, “When the North-Central met in the house of Governor Bala Mohammed, governor of Bauchi State, he (Ayu) said so there. When 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.