UPDATE: Wike camp Attacks Ayu, Pulls out of PDP Presidential Campaign
By Ozumi Abdul
In what appears to be a killer punch to the presidential bid of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Governor Nyesom Wike-led group has pulled out of the party’s campaign council.
Rising from their stormy meeting in Port Harcourt early morning on Wednesday, members of the team vowed not to partake in Atiku’s campaign activities until the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
Reading out the communique after the meeting in Port Harcourt, capital city of Rivers, a chieftain of the party, Bode George, said the campaign council list released by the party which has the name of Wike is “putting the cart before horse.”
“The published presidential campaign council list translates to putting the cart before horse, the pertinent issue remains the Ayu leadership,” George said.
“We therefore resolve that senator Iyorchia Ayu resigns as the national chairman for an acting chairman of southern Nigeria extraction.
“We resolved not to participate in the campaign council in whatever capacity until the resignation of Dr Iyorchia Ayu,” Bode George added.
Also speaking at the press conference, former minister of information, Professor Jerry Gana, said their agitation is not about Governor Wike’s loss at the primary election, adding that it is about justice and equity.
He added that the party must restructure itself before they can preach restructuring to Nigerians.
Gana said further that PDP cannot afford to go into the election on a faulty foundation, insisting that Ayu must go before the party can find peace.
Former governor of Plateau state, Jonah Jang, blamed Ayu for behaving like a biased referee during the PDP primaries. He made reference to Ayu’s meeting with Governor Aminu Tambuwal, calling him the hero of the convention.
According to Jang, that meant Ayu was biased in favour of Atiku and against Wike and other aspirants.
Recall that the PDP has been in turmoil since May when Atiku was elected as the standard bearer of the party.
Wike, whom many thought would be chosen as the party’s vice-presidential candidate, was ignored by Atiku who picked Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta, as his running mate.
The Rivers governor’s allies, who include Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo; Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue; Jerry Gana, former minister of information, are insisting that Ayu must resign as a condition for peace in the party.