‘Nobody can force Ayu to quit as PDP chairman,’ Atiku reacts to withdrawal of Wike allies from campaign council
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has reacted to the withdrawal of some party chieftains loyal to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, from the party’s Presidential Campaign Council.
The Wike’s team had during a meeting which ended in the early hours of Wednesday announced that its members who were named in the PDP campaign council would not take part in its activities with Iyorchia Ayu still in charge as the party’s National Chairman.
The meeting was attended by the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, former Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, his Ekiti State counterpart, Ayo Fayose, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chibudom Nwuche, ex-Cross River State governor, Donald Duke and Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, among others.
However, in a statement issued later in the day, the former Vice President expressed surprise at the decision of the Wike loyalists, stating that apart from the Rivers State chapter of the party, all other states had submitted and endorsed the names of people who they wanted in the Campaign Council.
Atiku added that nobody can force Ayu to resign from the position.
He said: “As a committed democrat and firm believer in the rule of law and democratic tenets, and our party being one set up, organized and regulated by law and our constitution, it is my absolute belief that everything that we do in our party must be done in accordance with, and conformity to, the law and our constitution.
If Dr. Ayu is to be removed from office, it must be done in accordance with the laws that set out the basis for such removal.
“In any event, you will all recall that the very body that is empowered by law to initiate this removal from office, has already passed a vote of confidence in him.
“Now, our nation is currently in the throes of a multidimensional crisis encompassing insecurity, economic meltdown, disunity and mutual mistrust and educational dislocations, to mention a few.
“I have a plan to address these issues and I have, graciously, been given the ticket to lead our great party in next year’s presidential elections, with the singular mandate to come and lead the efforts to cure these ills.
“It is in this light that I have reached out to every single member of our great party to join me in the massive undertaking required to reset the ship of state and help rebuild our country.
“And it is my fervent hope and prayer that every man and woman of goodwill will join hands with us to help rebuild and reposition our beloved country.
“Accordingly, we must forge on with the task and the mandate that we have been bestowed with. It is time, therefore, to move on with the formidable tasks of nation-building ahead of us.
“The above notwithstanding and for the sake of our country, our children, and those yet unborn, we must not, for one minute, shirk our responsibilities to rebuild this beloved country of ours.”