Exposed: Why Atiku Is careful Over Call For Ayu’s resignation – Nexus News

AMID the anxiousness of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, to work with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on the 2023 polls, he is compelled to assume a careful approach in order not to lose supports from the North, investigations have unveiled.

It was gathered that the former vice-president is cautious not to be perceived as pandering to the whim and caprice of the first runner-up in the presidential primary of the election so as not to be seen as not protecting the region’s interest.

Governor Wike is requesting for the removal of the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, who he believes, altered the selection process of the party’s standard-bearer in favour of the former vice-president.

His supporters has insisted that the party leader, who is from the North, must resign to pave the way for the selection of a Southerner as his successor to ensure diversity in the party’s positions as prescribed by its constitution.

Before last Thursday, when Senator Walid Jibrin resigned as the chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), the three major positions in the party, including the presidential candidate, the national chairman and the BoT were in the hands of the North.

Wike has, however, declined the BoT chairman’s resignation, portraying it as inadequate to correct the injustice in the party’s key positions. Despite the Rivers governor’s request, the highest decision-making body of the PDP, the National Executive Committee (NEC) went ahead to pass a vote of confidence in Ayu.

Information gathered revealed that even though Atiku has nothing personal against Wike, he is unable to agree to his requests because he does not want to betray his supporters in the North who helped him to win the PDP presidential ticket and risk losing their support.

A top party source informed Newsmen “The truth is that he wants Ayu to go so that he can have a peaceful party to campaign and win. But then, I think it has become a sin to those who helped him, According to him, they are trying to blackmail him into ‘they helped him to win.’”

A member of the Wike camp said that the governor will not stop his agitation until the perceived wrongs in the main opposition party are corrected.

“All we ask for is inclusion. If anybody thinks, yes, the North has been successful in penetrating the South and getting one or two persons compromised, that’s not going to produce results. It’s supposed to be an arrangement where the North and the South, all of them get carried along,” the source said, adding:

“Atiku is supposed to be a unifier. Let him unify now; let him unify the party. You start by unifying the party. You cannot answer ‘Unifier’ and you can’t unify the party. It’s a problem.”

The spokesman of the former vice-president, Paul Ibe, refused to comment on the issue when he was reached on Saturday.

However, a PDP chieftain sympathetic to the presidential candidate but who did not want to be mentioned, denied that the present disagreement is about the North and South.

The senior party member said: “That is not what it is about. It’s neither North nor South nor East nor West. You know the candidacy of Aitku Abubakar is predicated on a Nigerian agenda. Atiku is pan-Nigerian. So, it is not a question of pandering to the interest of the South of North, East or West. This is more about process.”

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While recalling the process of zoning the national chairman’s post to the North led by Governor Wike, which give birth to the emergence of Ayu, the party source confirmed: “If you are going to remove Ayu, there must also be a process. So, it’s not about Atiku Abubakar. Yes, Atiku is a stakeholder but he is not the process.”

Though the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has, on every occasion, emphasized that he is not ready to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), present indications reveals that the worst is yet to come. Credible sources within the camp of the embattled governor revealed a grand plot by some forces close to the Wike group to jeopardize the chances of PDP in the by general election by subordinating the interest of the opposition party.

Reporting gross injustice and insensitivity to the demands for the resignation of Ayu as National Chairman and his replacement by a southerner, a top notch in the PDP who is part of the plot stated that their action was borne out of the uncertainty over how an Atiku presidency would treat them and the South in the event of PDP victory in the 2023 elections, especially when their requests are not being met even in pre-election period.

Feelers in the rival camp over the power battle in the PDP, however, said that the Atiku, Ayu, their associates and other allies have moved on believing the best option now is to change the position of leadership that Wike and his supporters are rooting for through the ballot, beginning with the presidential election on February 25, 2023.

Their stand is that while further consultations and engagements could not be foreclosed, the face-off triggered by the fallouts of the presidential primary, including the choice of running mate by Atiku, had affected the party’s preparations for the campaign expected to begin from September 28 this year, any attempt to tinker with the structure of the party at this time will have terrible consequences.

Meanwhile, the governor is said to be seriously considering other options in the efforts to keep his hold on Rivers politics, one of which is the possibility of a “negotiated agreement” with the opposing ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The plan, PDP sources said at the weekend, is to secure the necessary assistance of the APC leadership for his candidates for the general election in return for a similar gesture to the APC at the presidential election.

The planned deal is allegedly drawing flak from within the PDP, especially in Rivers with some of followers disclosed to have threatened “severe repercussions at the most convenient time.”

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