The crisis that has hit the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) escalated yesterday as the National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, drew the battle line with aggrieved chieftains calling for his resignation.
He described those calling for his removal as children who did not witness the birth of the main opposition party.
He said the “children” were nowhere when PDP was formed.
In 1999, when Ayu was a minister in the cabinet of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike was the chairman of Obio Akpor Local Government Area in Rivers State.
Ayu had earlier served as Senate President from 1992 and 1993 when Wike was a law student at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt.
In a veiled reference to a caucus in his party demanding his sack, led by Wike, the chairman said he will not quit.
He insisted that he has a four-year mandate, adding that he has not spent a year in office.
Ayu said his fate was not tied to the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, because he was a product of the party’s constitution.
However, Wike said he cannot be intimidated by anyone in the PDP.
He said Rivers will soon decide on the 2023 elections.
Ayu opened up for the first time on the protracted crisis in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa Service.
He said the leaders of the party will not allow any individual to destabilise it.
Ayu said: “I was voted as PDP chairman for a four-year tenure and I’m yet to complete a year.
“Atiku’s victory doesn’t affect the chairman’s position. I won my election based on our party’s constitution.
“I didn’t commit any offence; I’m only reforming the party. So, I’m not bothered by all the noises.
“I know I’m doing my work and I didn’t steal any money. So, I see no reason for all these talks.
“When we started PDP, these children were not around. They are children who do not know why we formed the party.
“We will not allow any individual to destabilise our party.”
Wike: get ready for decision
Wike, who spoke yesterday during the flag-off of Igwuruta road construction in Ikwere Local Government Area, told the crowd to get ready for an important decision soon.
The governor said Rivers would soon take a decision and declare its position on next year’s election.
He said Rivers’ votes would no longer be acquired freely, adding that those interested in the state’s support must make an acceptable offer to its people.
He said: “Nobody should come and deceive you. No amount of social media war against us can solve any problem.
“Anybody who wants our votes must tell us what is there for us. Our vote is no longer for dash. It is for you to tell us what you will give to us.
“If you have given to Adamawa, you have given to Benue and you have given to Delta, won’t you give Rivers? What should we take? You just want to come and collect votes. It won’t happen.
“The God of confusion will put confusion in them. They think it is Rivers State that they are doing. They are doing themselves. They will see confusion from now to the end until they withdraw and understand that there was no road there.”