Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde Joins Nyesom Wike In ‘Ayu Must Go’ Campaign

Embattled PDP National Chairman Senator Iyorchia Ayu (left) and Governor Seyi Makinde

By Editor

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has eventually joined his brother governor and Rivers State’s Nyesom Wike in the campaign to remove the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Iyorchia Ayu.

Makinde said the chairman must resign because the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and chairman cannot come from the same region. The governor said Southwest PDP stakeholders believe that Ayu’s resignation should be the baseline for restructuring and unification of the party, which has been emersed in crisis especially after the primaries.

Makinde said if the controversy triggered by the distribution of positions is not resolved before next year’s polls, Southwest will continue to nurture the fear of exclusion. Urging the PDP to correct its pre-election mistakes, Makinde said: “If we want to unify Nigeria, we must unify PDP first. If we want a government of national unity, it must reflect in the PDP. If we want to restructure Nigeria, we must restructure PDP first.

“Our presidential candidate is from the Northeast. Our national chairman is from Northcentral. The Director-General of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Aminu Tambuwal, is from the Northwest. So, the PDP national chairman should step down.”

But, the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who met with Southwest PDP leaders and candidates in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, said if Ayu must resign, his exit must follow due process. Also in Umuobiakwa, Abia State, where he received Senator Adolphus Wabara, PDP BoT Chairman, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu urged the party leadership to demonstrate courage by taking concrete decisions that will foster stability in the party.

Southwest PDP leaders who converged on the Prof. Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, included former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former Ondo State Governor Segun Mimiko, Senator Biodun Olujimi, Osun State Governor-elect Ademola Adeleke, former Ekiti State governor Ayodele Fayose and PDP National Vice Chairman (Southwest) Taofeek Arapaja.

Makinde said: “There’s a saying that when two brothers go into a room to talk and they come out laughing, they say, the likelihood is that, they have not told themselves the truth. But, when two brothers come out looking forlorn, that means they must have told themselves the truth.

“People have spoken here and they have spoken about the positive sides of things. But we do have challenges in our party. We have issues to address, but one good thing is we have the capacity to address those issues.

“I have seen people abuse me on social media, saying this thing is about Wike, Makinde, Ortom, Ikpeazu or Ugwuanyi. The truth is we do not have any issues either with our party or with our candidate.

“If there are challenges, we must bring them to the table so that we can address them to ensure that our journey is smooth and we can get to our destination. This is not about individuals.

“I see people talk, saying this happened during our presidential convention or because someone was selected as a vice presidential candidate. Those are issues that are behind us; it has happened; it has happened.

And this is where we are. Are there issues coming out of those that we need to address so that we can be successful at the end of the day? The answer is yes and we will address them.

“Integrity and honour must be a part of our national psyche. “The Yoruba have a saying that if someone promises to give you cloth, you will firstly look at what he or she is wearing. If the person is wearing what is befitting then, you know that the person has the capacity to give you what you can wear.”

Makinde added: “When we launched our new party logo, we said we wanted to rescue Nigeria. Our candidate is a unifier; he will unify Nigeria.

“We want to restructure Nigeria. I have listened to our candidate publicly and privately. I have had interactions also with him. He mooted the idea of a government of national unity. Privately, he said to me that in 1999, he won the election at the national level, but he wanted others to come and he moved towards a Government of National Unity.

“He invited individuals from other political parties to join the national government. So, our party is talking about unifying this country. We are talking about the government of national unity because eight years of APC has left us badly divided. Well, the issue is we must practice what we preach. If we want to unify Nigeria, we must unify PDP first.

“If we want a government of national unity, the faces in PDP must reflect national unity. If we want to restructure Nigeria, we must have the willingness to do what is right to bring inclusivity into PDP.

“So, the message from the Southwest region is that there are few things that you can do for us post-election. Once the election is won, there are things that you can do for us. But, before the elections, the Southwest PDP wants a situation where your message to Nigerians can resonate and the only way that can happen is the face of PDP.

“Everything that PDP stands for in terms of unifying this country, in terms of restructuring the country, in terms of looking at a government of national unity, must be reflected in PDP moving towards the election.

“The Southwest PDP is asking that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP be restructured. Our candidate is from the Northeast. The PDP national chairman is from the Northcentral. Governor Aminu Tambuwal, the Director General of the Atiku campaign, is from the Northwest.

“We must resolve the issue of what we have in the face of Nigerians by asking the national chairman to step down so that the PDP in the Southern part of National Chairman, Iyiorcha Ayu, who was represented by the Acting Chairman, Ilya Damagum, while thanking Makinde for hosting the meeting, appealed to members, saying the party is in a trying period.

He said members should commit themselves to the party, assuring that they will be rewarded accordingly. He said PDP considered diversity in the choice of its presidential candidate and running mate.

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