Atiku says Ayu can’t be removed now
Makinde insists faces in PDP must reflect national unity
Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has expressed his view on the call for the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu as the national chairman of the PDP.
Atiku, who led other leaders of the party to Ibadan on Wednesday for an interactive session with stakeholders of the PDP said that the call for the recomposition of the National Working Committee was not impossible, but only when the constitution of the party has been amended to accommodate such demand.
The zonal stakeholders’ meeting of the PDP held at the Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall, University College Hospital, Ibadan
According to Atiku, “the People’s Democratic Party is the oldest political party in Nigeria since the return of democracy and even before then, it is a party that has laid down rules and regulations.
“I have been a member of the party since when it was formed and I am still a member of the party up to the point of what it has grown to become.”
In his response to the call by some governors of the party calling for the ouster of Ayu as national chairman, which was also reaffirmed by the chief host of the event and governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, Atiku said, “there is nothing any individual can do to change the outlook of the National Working Committee of the PDP.”
He remarked further that, “the PDP is a party where there are laid down rules and regulations. What Governor Makinde is asking for is possible only when we have amended our party’s constitution. As things stand today no single individual has the power to tamper with the NWC of the party. Doing so will be illegal and it will be against our rules in the party.
“Nigerians will not trust us to govern by the tenets of rule of law if we take such arbitrary action against our own party,” he said.
However, Makinde insisted that Ayu must step down to allow Southerners in the top hierarchy of the party.
According to him, PDP is talking about unifying the country, talking toward the government of national unity.
“Well, the issue is that we must practice what we preach. If we want to unify Nigeria, we must unify PDP first.
“If we want a government of national unity, the faces in PDP must reflect national unity.
“If we want to restructure Nigeria, we must have the willingness to do what is right to bring inclusivity into PDP.
“The message from the South West PDP is 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 said.
Earlier, Ifeanyi Okowa, the Vice Presidential candidate of PDP, urged members of the party in South West to be more united and work toward the success of the party in the 2023 general elections.
Okowa, also the Governor of Delta, said that PDP was well prepared to take over power from the All Progressives Congress.
According to him, the country is facing various challenges under the APC-led government.
He described the PDP presidential candidate as “an experienced and quality leader who is capable of leading the country well”.
Okowa, also urged the people to go into the election with one love and determination to win the poll.
Among the dignitaries on Atiku’s entourage were former Governors of Niger, Babangida Aliyu; Osun, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko and Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti.
Other PDP leaders at the stakeholders’ interactive session across the six states of the geopolitical zone with a common resolution to ensure victory for the PDP in next year’s general election included the chief host and Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde; governorship candidate of the PDP in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu, former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose; Osun State Governor-elect, Demola Adeleke; the governorship candidate of the PDP in Lagos State, Olajide Adediran and his deputy, Funke Akindele.
Others were PDP’s Governors’ Forum Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Bello Tambuwal; former Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke; Deputy National Chairman of the PDP (North), Umar Damagum and national deputy chairman of the PDP (South) Taofeek Arapaja, among other stakeholders from the South West.