The demand by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South West for Iyorcha Ayu’s removal as the party’s chairman has exonerated Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
A former member of the House of Representatives, Ogbonna Nwuke, said this in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
Mr. Nwuke said some persons have tried to divert attention from the real issues by claiming that Wike, for selfish reasons, was trying to destabilise the PDP.
He noted that the stance by Yoruba leaders when Atiku Abubakar visited them has shown that the struggle for the correction of imbalances in the party is not about Wike.
“Wike is not the issue as some people would want us to believe,” Nwuke said.
“Wike has become the symbol of the struggle for the protection of the rights of the people of Southern Nigeria.
“For some reason, persons close to the PDP flagbearer have tried to be clever by half. There is a limit to name calling.
“Despite attempts to confuse issues and hide the truth, the actual message is out. It is about the South and nothing else.
“We are gladdened by the fact that the South West has spoken clearly. Those who are claiming that Ayu’s removal will raise constitutional issues are deceiving themselves.
“Where was the PDP Constitution when some people decided to ignore the provisions of Article 7(3)(c) which dwells on the issue of power rotation? Was that in itself not a breech of the PDP Constitution?
“Atiku and his handlers must do what is right. Returning the chairmanship of the party to the South at this time is what is right.
“Acknowledging that what happened on the road to the special convention when some people chose to run against zoning was unconstitutional is the right thing to do in the present circumstance.
“Finally, accepting that a balance of power on a North/South basis is what is right is the best thing to do as we go forward.
“Now that the South West has spoken, Atiku will have to decide whether he wants to be a mere presidential candidate or if he wants to win an election. He will have to choose between Ayu and the South as we prepare for 2023.
“At this time, we are not begging them to do what is right, we are demanding that they do what is right in the interest of the PDP. Anything short of that will not work.”
Crisis has rocked the PDP after its national convention where Mr. Abubakar, a former vice president of Nigeria emerged as the party presidential candidate.
Governor Wike and other leaders of the party especially from Southern Nigeria have called for the resignation of Mr. Ayu to pave way for someone from the region.
About four governors have sided with Mr. Wike in a move akin to the power play that cost Goodluck Jonathan the 2015 presidential election.
How the crisis is resolved would likely affect the fortune of the main opposition party in the 2023 general election.