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Atiku/Wike’s feud: Ayu’s refusal to step down stalls peace move

The refusal of the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Iyorchia Ayu, to step down from his position has stalled the ongoing…

The refusal of the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Iyorchia Ayu, to step down from his position has stalled the ongoing reconciliation effort between the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

The nomination of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as Atiku’s running mate has caused a rift in the party.

Amid the crisis, some party members, especially those from Wike’s camp, had called for the resignation of the party’s national chairman.

But Ayu rebuffed the calls, saying he was elected for a tenure of four years and was ready to serve it out.

As the PDP reconciliation committee tries to meet again today (Friday), many are still sceptical as to whether Wike and Atiku’s camps will be able to come to any compromise in view of the prevailing realities.

Daily Trust reliably gathered that the camp of Wike believe that they will not get justice as far as Ayu remains in charge of the party.

A source said, “Ayu has shown his hand that he cannot be an impartial judge. How can a chairman that is supposed to be for all brazenly show his hand in support of a candidate?

“After the election, he was also among those that insisted that Wike should not be nominated as the running mate. If you remember in 2019, Atiku unilaterally nominated Peter Obi, but this time around he asked the party to choose for him even though he could have chosen whoever he wanted. But Ayu and co denied the choice of Wike.”

As part of effort to also have an input on the meeting, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party was said to have been locked in a crucial meeting yesterday.

Even though Daily Trust could not immediately ascertain the agenda of the meeting, a source said it was not unconnected with the crisis rocking the party and effort to put together the campaign council for the 2023 elections.

Meanwhile, the party’s Board of Trustees (BOT) has cautioned PDP members against “creating bad blood and confusion”.

The BOT’s chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, in a statement yesterday, urged all PDP stakeholders to support the reconciliation effort and concentrate on how to win all positions in the 2023 polls.