South West leaders stun Atiku
… demand exit of Iyorchia Ayu

Atiku Abubakar, presidential flagbearer of the PDP Wednesday ran into a stonewall when he met face to face with South West leaders.

Atiku who landed Lagos Tuesday proceeded to Ibadan Wednesday to meet with Yoruba leaders in Ibadan.

           Flagbearer Atiku Abubakar, Senator Iyorchia Ayu and Governor Nyesom Wike. Voices calling on Ayu to resign are getting louder.

On Monday evening, some select Yoruba  leaders in the PDP met to discuss the way forward ahead of Atiku’s visit to the South West.

Without mincing words,  stakeholders in the PDP from the geopolitical region emphatically told the former vice president in very strong and unmistakable terms that Iyorchia Ayu, National Chairman of the party, must go for peace to reign.

“We are asking the National Chairman to step down”, Governor Seyi Makinde who delivered the demand of the South West leadership stressed, “so that the South will be fully included.”

The Oyo State Governor declared,
“The message from the South-West PDP is, the South-West is asking that the National Working Committee of the PDP should be restructured.”

According to him, “Our party wants to rescue Nigeria and our candidate is a unifier. He wants to restructure Nigeria.”

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Makinde said that the party cannot talk about unifying the nation or rescuing the Nigerian people who are suffering from the misrule of the APC when it is unable to address traces of the inequality that exists in its midst.

“Eight years of the All Progressives Congress have left us sharply divided. The issue is we must practice what we preach. If we want to unify Nigeria, we must unify the PDP first.

“If we want to restructure Nigeria, we must have the willingness to bring inclusivity to the PDP”, the Oyo State Governor remarked, saying the party has the capacity to deal with challenges that are creating serious imbalances in terms of power sharing between the North and South.

Despite the tough talk which obviously took Atiku by surprise, Makinde however assured the party’s flagbearer that the people of the South West have nothing against him or the party.

Atiku: We have nothing against you or the PDP, Yoruba leaders tell the flagbearer who visited them on Wednesday.

“The truth is that we do not have any issue either with our party or our candidate. If there are challenges they must be tabled.

“We are supposed to give hope to our people, we want them to listen to us”, the Governor stressed.

South West exonerates Wike

Somehow, the decision of the South West wing of the PDP expressed before Atiku Abubakar, presidential flagbearer, has exonerated Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

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All along, some people have tried to divert attention away from the real issues by claiming that Wike was trying to destabilise the PDP because he did not win the primaries and did not get the position of Atiku’s running mate.

But the stance taken by Yoruba leaders 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”, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke, a former member of the National Assembly said to our reporter, “Wike has become the symbol of the struggle for the protection of the rights of the people of Southern Nigeria.

Governor Nyesom Wike exonerated by comments from South West leaders of the PDP.

“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?

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“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.

Chief Nwuke…Atiku and his handlers should do what is right. Returning the chairmanship to the South is what is right.

“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.”