Rivers Gov. Nyesom Wike Thursday insisted PDP chairman Iyorchia Ayu must step down from his post.
Wike said Abubakar Atiku, the presidential candidate of the party, told him in person in May, after the presidential primaries, that Ayu must vacate his position as party chairman.
The governor said this in Ahoada East Local Government Area of the state during the commissioning of the Ahoada campus of the Rivers State University.
“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 10:30am…The candidate told me: ‘I want us to work together’ and then he said, ‘Look, Ayu must go.’
“I said why? He said because when a candidate comes from the north, the chairman will come from the south. And I am saying, implement what you told me. What offence 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.”
Wike was at the occasion alongside his ally, Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.
Wike said the resignation of Walid Jibril as the party’s Board of Trustees chairman would not stop his demand for Ayu’s removal.
“This fight we will fight it to the end,” he said.
The governor added that the issue at hand is that of justice and fairness, pointing out that having produced the presidential candidate of the party, the north should not also hold on to the chairmanship of the party.
Wike said: “Some of you don’t know what is happening. You are being deceived; they are telling you Wike is causing problem. Wike is not causing problem; 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.”
He described as an insult a statement credited to former governor of Niger State, Babangide Aliyu, that he (Wike) is destroying the party because 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 election very well and we are not ashamed,” Wike said and recalled that Ayu, before the national convention of the party in May, made a promise to resign should a northern presidential candidate emerge as the winner of the primary.
He added: “When the North-Central met in the house of Governor Bala Mohammed, governor of Bauchi State, he (Ayu) said so there. When the 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.”