•Ayu should do the needful—WIKE’S CAMP
•He should resign if it’ll guarantee peace – OHUABUNWA
•Wike won’t ruin PDP’s chances – OLOGBONDIYAN
•We’ll tell you those to vote for in 2023, Wike tells supporters
By John Alechenu & Davies Iheamnachor
FRESH pressure is being mounted on the National Chairman of People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Iyiochia Ayu, to step aside as a video of him pledging to do so should a northerner emerge as presidential candidate made the rounds.
Ayu’s resignation is one of the key demands of party supporters sympathetic to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, as a condition for peace to return to the party.
The video was an extract of a television interview he granted Arise Television, in the run-up to the PDP National Convention where he emerged as national chairman.
Statements issued on his behalf in recent times, however, indicate a change of heart. His supporters are trying to push forward a narrative of him leaving office if the party produces a PDP president in 2023.
Ayu, while answering a question on what would happen should a northern candidate emerge as a presidential candidate, said: “Party positions we have agreed are not tied to positions of executive and legislative positions. However, I’m a very, very democratic person. I will do everything to promote the interest and image of my party.
“If the PDP says I should step down after the presidential candidate emerges and happens to be in the north, I will be very glad to do so.”
Ayu should do the needful—WIKE’S CAMP
A source in Wike’s camp, who pleaded anonymity, said: “All we are saying is that our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and all those interested in genuine reconciliation in our party should implore Ayu to do the needful, it is simple.
“Apart from the fact that our constitution is explicit on the issue of zoning, we need men who can be taken for their words at the helm of affairs.”
Ayu should resign if it‘ll guarantee peace–OHUABUNWA
Similarly, a former presidential aspirant of the PDP, Sam Ohuabunwa, has asked Ayu to resign if doing so will end the crisis of confidence between Atiku and Wike.
Ohuabunwa said this on Channels Television’s political programme, Politics Today, on Tuesday.
He said: “I see him (Ayu) as a man of honour. If he promised to resign if a northerner emerges as PDP candidate is what he said, then he should follow the path of honour.
“Even if he didn’t say it, if he is the leader of the party who has brought us to this point, he should make the sacrifice. Do what needs to be done and make sure Nigerians are happy with PDP, and members of PDP are happy.
“If he needs to step down for that to happen, he should do so. We need to unite the party. This party is bleeding right now.”
Wike won’t ruin PDP’s chances – OLOGBONDIYAN
Also commenting on the crisis with the party, former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, said the Rivers State Governor remained a committed party leader who would not align with those who wished the party ill, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
He said this during an interview on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ programme.
In response to a question about Wike’s meeting with opposition political figures, Ologbondiyan said: “I know it and I believe that Governor Nyesom Wike is savvier politically to go and put the life of his political machinery into an arrangement that will stop its candidates from winning elections. I know he will not do a thing like that and I am very confident about that.
“I know it as a fact that Governor Samuel Ortom is contesting for Senate in Benue and the Senate and presidential elections come up on the same day and same time.
“I know Governor Ikpeazu has senatorial interest too. So you think they would sit down as politicians and cede that out to a party that they don’t have conviction about its performance? That is not the way politicians do their thing and I am sure of that.”
We’ll tell you those to vote for in 2023, Wike tells supporters
Meanwhile, Governor Wike, yesterday, told his supporters that he would tell them who to vote for as governor of Rivers State in the 2023 polls, noting that he would not leave the state in the hands of robbers.
Wike stated that Rivers people would not support any candidate without development agenda to preside over the state as governor.
He said this at the inauguration of the remodeled Waterlines House in Port Harcourt, yesterday, by former Kogi State governor, Alhaji Idris Ibrahim.
Wike, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said: “I thank all Rivers people for the support you have given us, for the prayers you are offering on our behalf.
”I will continue to let you know that we will not let you down. We will continue to do the best for Rivers. and that is why we also tell you to listen to us. We will tell you those to vote for because I will tell you who is who.
“There are those who just want to be governor, but they have no agenda. And in any case, why will you change a winning team that has given you all these? I will not allow this state to go astray, fall into the hands of armed robbers.”
He insisted that the people of Rivers State were pleased with the infrastructure and human development strides of his administration and would massively vote for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidates in the state.
Wike described Rivers State as the most peaceful state in the country because of the blessing of God on it, stressing that because the state operates Jesus’ economy, his administration could carry on flagging off new projects and inaugurating completed ones.