BY MAYOWA SAMUEL
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State slammed the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Iyorchia Ayu, for boasting of having the power to stop any candidate of the party from contesting the 2023 election.
Ayu had at an address to supporters in Gboko, Benue State on Friday, boasted that he could terminate the ambition of any aspirant in the party.
He said, “I have been silent over all the things you are hearing against me because I don’t want any crack in the party I belong to in my state.
“I have the powers to say ‘you and you will not go anywhere’, because I will insist that I must sign before you go anywhere.
“But I have signed for all candidates produced by the PDP to go ahead in their dreams whether I like it or not, I signed,” Ayu was quoted to have said.
But responding to Ayu’s statement on Sunday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Wike challenged the party chairman to stop any party member from contesting in the 2023 elections.
Wike said, “The statement credited to the PDP National Chairman that he has the right to stop any candidate from contesting election is very unfortunate. Nobody said that Ayu should be sacked.
“By our constitution, there is zoning for political parties. There is no way a party candidate and the National Chairman of a party can come from the same place. Nobody is interested in sacking Dr Iyorchia Ayu what we are saying is that the National Chairman of PDP should concede to the agreement reached that he should resign the moment the presidential candidate emerged.
“I heard when he said that he would have stopped Ortom from contesting, a man that brought you and pleaded that you should be made Chairman. Ortom stood as a guarantee for Ayu to become the National Chairman of the PDP. I dare Ayu to stop anybody from contesting the election.
“I dare him to come to Rivers State and stop any candidate from contesting the election. Do we really want to win election? The party is really in a dilemma. The presidential candidate of the party comes from the north and if you said that you will not keep to the agreement so be it. I will not be a party to anybody that wants to use me to be relevant.
“I have been in PDP and have never left the party. I dare him, Ayu, again to stop any candidate from contesting an election. He knows that he cannot do that he has no such power. Let him come to Rivers State and stop anybody. I dare him to do that,” Wike said.