By Silas Tamuno:
The Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubukar, has declared that calls for the resignation of the National Chairman, Dr. Iyiocha Ayu, was unlawful and that he cannot support the call when the embattled party leader enjoys the confidence of important organs of the party.
Atiku Abubakar’s declaration was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday, while responding to the pulling out of Governor Nyesom Wike’s team from his campaign council on Wednesday morning in Port Harcourt. The Wike faction are embittered by the unwillingness of Ayu to resign so as to make room for
a southerner and thus promote inclusiveness.
However, the protesters were unequivocal that only the resignation of Ayu will appease them to resign their decision to withdraw participation in Atiku’s Campaign Council.
In a twist, Atiku, Nigeria’s former vice president, in his statement had given very clear indication of his unwillingness to compel Ayu to quit the stage in the interest of the party, stressing that no one can force the PDP chairman to resign when he has neither breached the law nor the party constitution.
The statement said:
“On the calls for the resignation or removal from office of our national chairman, however, I must reiterate what I have said severally in public and in private; the decision for Dr. Iyorchia Ayu to resign from office is personal to Dr. Ayu and, neither I nor anyone else can make that decision for him”.
The PDP presidential flag bearer had appealed to the those who pulled out of his Campaign Council to return unconditionally.
“If Dr. Ayu is to be removed from office, it must be done in accordance with the laws that set out the basis for such removal. In any event, you will all recall that the very body that is empowered by law to initiate this removal from office, has already passed a vote of confidence in him” Atiku further argued, while calling on the Wike group to join in the task to reset the ship of Nigerian state, and help rebuild the country.
Meanwhile, political analysts who spoke with Notable Outcome in Port Harcourt on Wednesday on the lingering conflict said that the tone of Atiku’s statement was indicative of someone who had made up his mind to go ahead with those who are willing to work with him.
The analysts further argued that Atiku’s reference to the same party Constitution which he disregarded to contest for and win the party ticket gives him away as someone who may only respect the law when it favours him.