PDP crisis latest: Wike wants to replace Ayu as National Chairman - Wike supporter
One of the terms of the agreement was that Wike, from Rivers State in South-South geopolitical zone, would step in as National Chairman upon Ayu's resignation.
More facts are still emerging on the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which has pitched Governor Wike of Rivers State against the Party's Presidential flagbearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The latest information indicates that the demand by Wike's camp for the resignation of Dr Iyorchia Ayu as National Chairman was actually based on a concrete agreement backed by a resignation letter claimed to have been signed by Ayu, to be activated if and when a Northerner became the Presidential candidate of the party. Wike's supporters insist the letter is in the possession of former Senate President, Senator David Mark, who was the Chairman of the recent PDP National Convention Organizing Committee which produced Atiku, from Adamawa in the North-East, as winner.
A source inside Wike's camp revealed to media men in confidence that one of the terms of the agreement was that Wike, from Rivers State in South-South geopolitical zone, would step in as National Chairman upon Ayu's resignation.
According to the source, that is the agreement supporters of the Governor are asking Ayu to comply with. The source, a former member of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC), charged Mark to speak out on the call for Ayu’s resignation.
He asked: “What is Ayu bringing to help Atiku? He should resign if he has honour. After all, he signed the resignation letter that he will resign if the presidential candidate comes from the north. The letter is from David Mark. David Mark should speak out.”
He continued: “Wike lost the presidential ticket and the running mate position. He is asking for the office of the National Chairman. If Atiku is sincere, he should allow Ayu to go. He can appoint him as his chief of staff if he wants to earn the trust of Wike and his supporters. We have a lot to contribute.”
Neither Ayu nor Atiku has denied that Ayu promised to resign if the winner of the PDP primaries which took place late May came from the North. Their argument after Atiku's victory was that the resignation would wait till after the main election scheduled for the first quarter of next year.
It is most likely that the issue of Ayu's resignation will be on the agenda of the meeting of a 14-member reconciliation committee jointly set up by Wike and Atiku.
The committee which media reports say will commence sitting today is composed of, from Wike's side: former Governors Segun Mimiko of Ondo State, Donald Duke of Cross Rivers and Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe; a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke; and a former member of the House of Representatives, Nnena Ukeje.
Members Atiku named to the Committee include a former Senate President, David Mark; Adamawa State Governor Umaru Fintiri; a former Cross River state Governor, Liyel Imoke; a former PDP governorship candidate in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede; and former Senator Ben Obi. Our source could not immediately recall the two other names submitted by each side.
Wike, a reputed political fighter, was instrumental to the resignation of Uche Secondus, the immediate past elected National Chairman of PDP. It remains to be seen if he will succeed again this time in bringing down Ayu who has spent less one year in office.