Makinde backs Wike, insists Ayu must resign

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In what appears to be a clear validation and reinforcement of the position of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on the crisis rocking the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has also called for the resignation of the National Chairman of the party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu. This, he said was to make the people of the South feel a sense of belonging in the party.

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Makinde made his position known at the South-West PDP stakeholders meeting with the party’s 2023 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in Ibadan on Wednesday.

Following the emergence of Atiku at the May 28 National Convention of the party specifically organized to pick the party’s flagbearer, Wike demanded the resignation of Ayu to balance the North-South sharing formula so that no one region will produce both the presidential candidate and the chairman of the party.

Makinde’s position came even as he described Atiku as “the incoming President of Nigeria in 2023,” in his welcome address which attracted a spontaneous applause from the party’s stakeholders at the meeting.

Makinde said, “The truth is that we do not have any issue either with our party or our candidate. If there are challenges they must be tabled. We are supposed to give hope to our people; we want them to listen to us. Our party wants to rescue Nigeria and our candidate is a unifier. He wants to restructure Nigeria

“Eight years of the All Progressives Congress have left us sharply divided. The issue is we must practice what we preach. If we want to unify Nigeria, we must unify the PDP first.

“If we want to restructure Nigeria, we must have the willingness to bring inclusivity to the PDP. Do we have the capacity? The answer is resounding yes.

“The message from the South-West PDP is the South-West is asking that the National Working Committee of the PDP should be restructured.

“We are asking the National Chairman to step down so that the South will be fully included. That is the message.”

Makinde’s call for Ayu’s resignation also came as the national chairman was reported to have concluded plans to jet out to Europe for a two-week tour.

Ayu, who was billed to leave the country on Wednesday, had handed over to the party’s national deputy chairman (North), Iliya Damagun, to pilot the affairs of the party till his return at the end of the month.