Former vice president Atiku Abubakar has said that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will be better without Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike.
Atiku who spoke through his spokesman, Daniel Bwala, said that the party has survived the absence of more important founding members such as former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Speaking on Channels TV politics today, Bwala said “Iyorcha Ayu and Atiku were founding members. They left and had to come back. Let me tell you why you can’t play God,” Mr Bwala said in a Channels TV interview on Friday night.
“Atiku left, the party survived. Ayu left, the party survived. If Wike leaves the party will survive. Obasanjo is not in PDP, it survived. You need to understand and know the limit of your operation and influence”.
Wike had on Friday slammed Ayu, accusing him of mountain corruption. He further insisted that Ayu must resign as national chairman.
Wike also accused Atiku of lacking in integrity.
He emphasised that the PDP boxed itself in its current quagmire and to disentangle itself the remedies will include making sacrifices that engender inclusivity.
“Will he (Ayu) deny the fact that he did not collect N1 Billion from Lagos? Let him deny, I will tell him who gave him the money. The money was given to him in Lagos. He met one of the presidential aspirants and told him that he is not sure these governors may want to sponsor the party. Let Ayu say no. I will even call some of the business men and how the money was arranged in Lagos. That money did not enter into the account of PDP.”
The governor who accused Ayu of corruption, said he exerted pressure on some of the PDP presidential aspirants like governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State and former Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, to step down for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on the day of the convention.
“There’s nothing Ayu did not do for me not to emerge as the PDP candidate. Ayu did everything to manipulate the system to ensure that all the numbers did not add up.”
He said the call for the resignation of Senator Ayu within the party is bordered on justice, fairness and equity. According to him, “development alone is not the only problem Nigeria has. Insecurity alone is not the only problem Nigeria has. Part of our problem is none inclusivity of people, certain section believing they are being marginalised. Whether you like it or not you must show that you have the capacity to bring everybody together.”
Governor Wike disclosed that the PDP’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku had during the meeting they held in London promised to work out within a week modalities for the resignation of Senator Ayu as national chairman, but never did.
He explained that after the one week that was promised elapsed, instead of returning back to them to state the challenges encountered, the presidential candidate is now using the PDP constitution as defence.
“You are talking about constitution now, but you forget that the constitution says there should be zoning of elective and party offices. You did not remember that constitution says so. Now, is there nothing called expediency? Is there nothing called doctrine of necessity? Now, look at where we have found ourselves.”
He further added: ” ab initio, the presidency ought to have been zoned to the South, you knew it. What you’ve done is to show how clever or smart you are. Now, there is crisis you’re now falling back to that constitution to say that there will be constitutional crisis. You cannot eat your cake and have it. You can’t.”
The governor noted that National Executive Committee (NEC) of PDP could take the decision now to accommodate the resignation of Senator Ayu as the national chairman and seek ratification at a convention later after the elections.
According to Governor Wike, such decision will be for expediency purposes in order to allow for a southerner to become national chairman of the PDP.
“All we want is, now that you have given presidency to the North, let us (South) take our own chairman, because when they’re meeting for decision making, the presidential candidate seats there, national chairman seats there, the DG of campaign seats there, they take decision and come out and tell you to execute.
“Now, I hear the Board of Trustees (BOT) chairman is gone. Why did they put pressure on the BOT chairman to resign and then now you cannot put pressure on national chairman to resign. When I was trying to run as governor, I had a lot of crisis. But I had to let go certain things for us to be able to win election. The problem is that we have not won election, we are arrogant.”
Governor Wike said those who are advising the PDP presidential candidate to ignore Rivers State votes don’t wish him well in the forthcoming general election.
“Anybody advising Atiku that is a wicked man, and I know those who are doing it. They don’t have electoral value in their own unit. Some of them are from Edo. Look at their calculation. Buhari didn’t win in Rivers State, but Buhari won Lagos and Kano. Does Atiku have Lagos now, does he have Kano? The only one he has, always had is Rivers and you say you don’t want them.”
The governor specifically accused Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri, who hails from Yobe State and lacks political relevance, as being one of those misleading the PDP presidential candidate.
“Has PDP won Yobe State? now, what is his electoral value that he (Waziri) will bring to the table. Tell me, since 1999 we started this democracy, PDP has never won Yobe State and then you are going about, we will deal with him. We will sanction him.”
The governor said it has become imperative for the PDP to prove to Nigerians that it can be trusted with their votes, which will return it to power in 2023.
He cautioned the PDP against taking Nigerians for granted saying they are already disenchanted with the failure of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government.
Governor Wike pointed out that the promise of hope by PDP to Nigerians must be seen from how it is able to resolve the current leadership imbalance and marginalisation among its members.
“You see, people take Nigerians for granted and that’s what PDP is trying to do. Because Nigerians are not happy with APC and therefore, we don’t want to do the right thing. You don’t do that.
“Rather, since we believe that APC government has not done well then, we, as people, who want to take over should show more seriousness to Nigerians.
“It is we as a party that must show to Nigerians that we have integrity, that we are trustworthy to do what we have promised Nigerians that when we come, all these issues of marginalisation will be a thing of the past.”