By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Publicity Secretaries in the South-West have expressed support for Dr. Iyorchia Ayu as the National Chairman of the party, saying the calls in some quarters for his resignation are to sabotage the party’s efforts at winning the 2023 general polls.
The scribes made the statement, yesterday, during a media briefing attended by publicity secretaries from Lagos, Hakeem Amode; Ondo, Kennedy Peretei; Ekiti, Raphael ‘Wumi Adeyanju; and Ogun, Bankole Akinloye, held at the PDP Secretariat in Lagos.
Some leaders from the South have been tackling the party over the National Chairman and the presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who is from the North.
A former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Bode George, and Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers and Seyi Makinde of Oyo were among the leaders calling for the resignation of Ayu for equity and fairness.
The leaders warned that PDP risks losing the 2023 elections if Ayu fails to resign.
However, Peretei, who spoke on behalf of the group in a statement, said they opposed the resignation of Ayu “to save our country from imminent total collapse.”
The statement titled: ‘PDP SouthWest Spokespersons Stand With Iyorchia Ayu as National Chairman,’ read: “On behalf of the leadership of the PDP, state chapters in Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Ekiti and Lagos, we the Publicity Secretaries in these states respectively dissociate ourselves from calls for the resignation of Dr Iyorchia Ayu as PDP National Chairman.
“We wish to affirm our faithfulness to the PDP Constitution which clearly stipulates the procedure for leadership election and removal.
“As the only political party that has not changed name or logo since its establishment in 1998, the party cannot afford to appear unserious”.
“We do not see any justification for the resignation of our National Chairman, especially at this very critical stage of preparation for elections.
“Ayu was duly elected at a properly constituted National Convention with a four-year mandate and recently received a vote of confidence of the party’s National Executive Committee, at its 97th meeting in Abuja.
“Our party has championed the sanctity of its constitution (2017 as amended). We must therefore do everything to maintain this sanctity.
“Any action that undermines the spirit of the party’s constitution at this crucial stage can only be considered as a deliberate attempt to sabotage the party’s efforts at winning in the coming general elections.
“We appeal to the leadership of our party in the South-West to work together to respect the constitution of our party because, if we cannot respect our own rules, guidelines and constitution as a party, how will Nigerians trust us to respect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria when voted into office.