The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Iyorchia Ayu, has said that he is not worried about the calls for his resignation, saying the proponents of such moves are youngsters who do not have a grasp of the goals of the party when it was formed.
Ayu said he would not allow anyone to destabilise the party, noting that PDP members and stakeholders elected him based on the laid down rules of the main opposition party. In an interview with the BBC Hausa Service, the national chairman pointed out that even if there would be another election, those calling for his resignation would not be replacing him.
The PUNCH reports that the camp of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has been calling for the resignation of Ayu as a condition to mend the fractured relationship between the governor and the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The relationship between Atiku and Wike worsened a few months ago after the PDP presidential primary, which was won by the former Vice-President.
Ayu said, “I was voted as PDP Chairman for four-year tenure and I’m yet to complete a year. Atiku’s victory doesn’t affect the chairman’s position. I won my election based on our party’s constitution.
“I didn’t commit any offence; I’m only reforming the party so I’m not bothered with all the noises. I know I’m doing my work and I didn’t steal any money so I see no reason for all these talks.
“When we started PDP, these children were not around. They are children who do not know why we formed the party. We will not allow any individual to destabilise our party.”
Reacting, a PDP chieftain and former member of the House of Representatives, Ogbonna Nwuke, said Ayu is not looking at “the bigger picture.’’
Speaking to The PUNCH in Port Harcourt, Nwuke, who represented Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, said, “I think Ayu is not looking at the bigger picture. First, let’s even look at his euphemism of children, according to him. I am certain that Ayu knows that anyone who has gone above the age of 18 is an adult in this country. Our constitution says so.
“And then men are holding responsibilities, men are performing in their offices. Men are holding strong in the interest of this nation. And the best Ayu can do is to refer to them as children. I think it is very unfortunate. Even his own son who is beyond 23, 30 years as the case may be; Ayu cannot speak to him like that, because such a person is an adult and is accountable to himself.”
Meanwhile, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, admonished the party leaders and stakeholders to ignore the crisis and “focus on the big picture rather than the little picture.”
A socio-political group, the One Nigeria Movement, has described Ayu’s remark as the height of arrogance.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the group’s Convener-General, Ahmed Sodiq-Mugoro; and Secretary, Babatunde Aliyu, on Wednesday.
The group also berated Ayu, whom it said abandoned the PDP for the Action Congress in 2007 and worked against the PDP as yet still referred to himself as a founding father of the party.