NWC members must swap positions for me to resign — Ayu

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National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Iyorchia Ayu,

As part of efforts to end the crisis rocking the opposition Peoples Democratic Party ahead of the 2023 general election, the PDP National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, has said all members of the National Working Committee (NWC) from the South must swap their current positions with those from the North as a condition to resign his position.

The Conclave had reported that the loyalists of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, called for the restructuring of party’s leadership to accommodate more southerners.

The supporters of the governor said the party’s leadership is constituted of Northerners.

Wike’s loyalists stated that the northerners cannot occupy the positions of the Board of Trustees, chairman, the national chairman, and governors’ forum chairman of the party.

They added that any proposed reconciliation between the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Governor Wike must address the party’s leadership issue.

However, Ayu said all the PDP NWC members from the South must swap their current positions with those from the North since the party’s presidential candidate is from the North.

It was learnt that Ayu’s proposal has been rejected by many party leaders who fear that their candidates in the NWC would lose their positions and influence.

One of those who stand to lose out if Ayu’s proposal on swapping of positions is accepted is Governor Wike.

The governor’s ally, Senator Samuel Anyawu from the South-East zone, is the PDP National Secretary and head of the party’s national secretariat.

It was further gathered that some party leaders have started making a u-turn to prevail on Wike and some governors to allow Ayu remain in office till after the 2023 presidential election.

A member of the BoT, who spoke in confidence, disclosed that Ayu, at the session with the Board of Trustees on Wednesday, said he was ready to sacrifice anything for the success of the party in the 2023 elections.

The BoT member said: “He told us that he was ready to step aside but he should not be isolated.

“He said since the presidential candidate is from the North, the ideal thing is for Northern officers in the NWC to swap positions with their Southern members to guarantee equity, fairness and justice.

“In spite of the fact that Ayu’s agitation is politically plausible, it may disrupt PDP’s zoning formula.

“This is why some of our leaders are saying that Ayu can only leave office when Atiku is elected as President.

“Some of us think Ayu should remain in office till after the elections.

“There are concerns that Ayu might not quit his position if Atiku loses the presidential race. This is also a probability.

“We don’t want any fresh crisis in the party. If there is a reversal of roles in NWC, some of our leaders, including Wike, will lose out.

“The governor of Rivers State singlehandedly produced the National Secretary of the party and a few others. It means Wike will further be in the cold in the power equation in PDP,” TheNation quoted the source as saying.

Another BOT member said: “We did not want any further split in the party over Ayu because it was obvious to us that PDP will never be the same again if he is removed.

“What we agreed upon was to allow Ayu to remain in office till after the elections.

“Some BOT members said we should tactically pass a vote of confidence on Ayu, which we did when some of our leaders addressed the press.

“We count on Atiku and Wike to salvage the fragile situation in the party because they hold the aces,” he disclosed.

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