The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, says he can’t decide the resignation of the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
“On the calls for the resignation or removal from office of our national chairman, however, I must reiterate what I have said severally in public and in private; the decision for Dr. Iyorchia Ayu to resign from office is personal to Dr. Ayu and, neither I nor anyone else can make that decision for him,” Atiku said in a statement hours after the camp of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State pulled out of his presidential campaign council for the 2023 general elections, insisting that Ayu must go for a southerner to step in.
“As to the calls for the removal of Dr. Ayu from office, however, I will state that, as a committed democrat and firm believer in the rule of law and democratic tenets, and our party being one set up, organized and regulated by law and our constitution, it is my absolute belief that everything that we do in our party must be done in accordance with, and conformity to, the law and our constitution.
“If Dr. Ayu is to be removed from office, it must be done in accordance with the laws that set out the basis for such removal. In any event, you will all recall that the very body that is empowered by law to initiate this removal from office, has already passed a vote of confidence in him,” Atiku added.
Atiku, however, urged “those members of our party that have stated their resolve to withdraw from the Presidential Campaign Council to have a rethink, retrace their steps, and join us in these efforts”.
Wike’s group after a midnight meeting that ended on Wednesday morning at the private residence of the governor in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, had announced its withdrawal from the campaign council formed lately.
Those at the meeting with Wike in Port Harcourt include Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; former Governors Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, Ayo Fayose of Ekiti, Donald Duke of Cross River, Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe and Jonah Jang of Plateau, former Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke.
Others at the meeting are elder statesmen, Olabode George, Jerry Gana; South-South Chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih; former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chibudom Nwuche; Senator Suleiman Nazif, Nnenna Ukeje, among several others.