The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his allies have insisted that the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, must resign for peace to return to the party.
Reports gathered that the aggrieved governor made this known when he met with select members of the PDP Board of Trustees in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Recall that the Acting BoT Chairman, Adolphus Wabara; former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Tanimu Turaki; ex-Kogi State Governor, Ibrahim Idris, and four others were in Port Harcourt earlier in the week in search of peace following a lingering crisis that showed no sign of abating.
According to sources, Wike told the BoT members that the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had serially failed to fulfill all the promises he made to the five governors who are insisting on the removal of the party chairman.
Speaking on behalf of other aggrieved PDP governors, Wike claimed that Atiku disappointed the Southern bloc of the party over and over with many unfulfilled promises.
While vowing not to work for Atiku’s presidential bid until Ayu resigns, Wike said the PDP presidential candidate rejected a former governor of a South-South state he nominated for the vice-presidential candidate and on him (Wike) being his running mate.
The source said, “Wike told them Atiku disappointed him. He said he didn’t bargain for vice president; it was Atiku who begged him. When he eventually agreed, and he expected them to work something out, he came back to say he had picked Okowa.
‘’But when Atiku chose Okowa, he didn’t come back to them (Wike and other governors) to say anything. And the speech he made when he was unveiling Okowa was very disappointing.”
The party chieftain, a member of the Uche Secondus-led executive Committee, said, “Wike also told them that Atiku came to London and assured him that Ayu would resign to balance things. He also complained about the gang-up and sharing of positions which they had already done. Ayo Fayose and Dan Orbih were present during the meeting.
“By the time he told them all that, they (BoT members) were speechless, and they were convinced that Wike had been wronged. He told them how he took care of the party when all of them left and how he never abandoned the party for a day.
“After hearing all that transpired from Wike, they asked him the way forward. Wike replied that the only way forward was for Ayu to resign and that if Ayu does not resign, nobody should talk to him about PDP again. He vowed not to leave the party, but at the same time, he would not work for Atiku.”
Wike also accused Atiku’s loyalists of insulting him publicly, and the former vice president refused to call them to order.
“Wike complained that there was a time Sule Lamido, Babangida Aliu, and Tom Ikimi—all Atiku loyalists—were abusing him and Atiku refused to checkmate them until it got out of hand,” he added.