Posted by News Express | 15 October 2022 | 443 times
Indications have emerged to suggest that the leadership of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is banking on a former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, to placate the incumbent Nyesom Wike to backtrack on his stance seeking the removal of the National Chairman of the party, Senator Iyochia Ayu, from office.
This is coming just as Wike on Friday made another allegation of graft against Ayu, saying the PDP chairman collected the sum of N100m on two occasions from the coffers of the party to carry out the same project. When contacted, one of the Spokesmen for the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Mr. Daniel Bwala, stated that the position of the party regarding the crisis has not changed, saying Wike and other aggrieved members’ inputs into the campaign efforts are welcome.
Bwala however added that the party would not pause its presidential campaign programme due to the ongoing crisis. Findings conducted by one of our correspondents revealed that Odili has been having a series of meetings with Wike with the last being the one held between the two in Port Harcourt on Thursday aimed at resolving the logjam following Wike and his group’s insistence on the removal of Ayu. “I can confidently tell you that Dr. Peter Odili has been meeting with our brother, Chief Nyesom Wike.
That I can confirm,” a source within the anti-Ayu group said, adding that the efforts might actually be at the instance of the former governor who many sources said has some form of influence on Wike. The development which was confirmed by both Wike and Bwala is said to be a personal initiative and a last ditch effort to bring the Rivers Governor and his group along.
“I know that both Chief Wike and Dr. Odili have been meeting. Wike even confirmed the development when he spoke to the media on Friday,” says Bwala. Meanwhile, Wike called on former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to show leadership by taking action on the crisis rocking the party in the run-up to the 2023 general elections. Speaking on a live media chat in the Government House, Port Harcourt on Friday Wike said the party’s fate in the coming election depends on Atiku to do the right thing by removing Ayu. While stating that he won’t back down from his position that Ayu should resign, Wike noted that those talking about the interest of the party should also realize that the PDP has always stood on zoning of positions. “You’re denying my people their own right.
Nobody should talk to me about the interest of the party. Those Southerners supporting Ayu are political hypocrites,’ he said, stressing that the party chairmanship after Ayu’s resignation should be given to any part of the South. The governor noted that the call for Ayu’s resignation is because he lacks integrity and ought to have resigned after the presidential primary because Ayu had openly said that he would resign if the presidential ticket goes to the North.
He said: “I stand for equity, fairness and justice. That is what will take you to the right way. This is the time to show leadership skills. Atiku is the one that feels the pain. Why should you tell me that it is after the election that Ayu should leave?” The governor also accused Atiku of buying time in order to extend the crisis to December, stressing that the only concession he and the other four governors will make is to remain in the party. “If I leave the party, PDP will not win in this state… If the five governors say today that we are leaving, forget all the noise people are making.
We are very formidable as governors,” he said. Wike also described as unfortunate the comment credited to Atiku that he has been “vindicated” for choosing Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa,as his running mate following the Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON honour President Muhammadu Buhari awarded him. “It’s so unfortunate, because I was awarded the same honour of CON eight years ago. Why the comparison to say he has been vindicated,” he said. Wike said that Ayu lacks integrity, and alleged that he received double pay for a single project.
He said: “If people know what we know, if we release what we have, Ayu’s children will go to him and say we are no longer your children. When Wike was asked about the N1 billion he claimed that Ayu allegedly collected from a businessman in Lagos, Wike said: “There cannot be any comment. He (Ayu) cannot say anything. Look, I am the governor of Rivers state and I don’t just come out to speak. “Let Ayu say he did not collect N1 billion.
In fact, let me also tell you, Ayu collected N100m from a governor that he was going to renovate our democratic institution and then he (Ayu) went back to the PDP NWC and took the same N100m for doing the same work. What kind of system is that? I am telling you all these are facts. Let him (Ayu) say no first and I will tell you (those he collected money from).”
He added, “A leader must be a man of integrity. And I have realized that people find it hard to have that (integrity) lately. You a presenting a man (Ayu) who lacks integrity as chairman of the party, somebody that wants to lead a campaign to take the reins of government? “What is the problem with what we are asking of Ayu? We are saying let there be equity, let there be fairness and justice.
“But if you don’t want it that way then you are the one causing the crisis (in the party) and that shows you (Ayu) don’t have leadership skills because this is the time to show it. This is the time to show leadership skills on the part of those who are leaders of the party.” Speaking in Abuja at the national secretariat of the party shortly after he attended a meeting of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Ayu however denied taking N1 billion from an unnamed aspirant shortly before the PDP presidential primaries. Ayu said the money was a proposed bank loan proposal that the party wanted to take from a friendly commercial bank. The party chair however denied collecting another N100 million from the NWC for the same purpose, saying that the Rivers’ Governor’s claim was not true. (Saturday Telegraph)
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