Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Abubakar Baraje has given his support to the call for the removal of Dr Iyorcha Ayu, the current National Chairman of the party.
According to him, the ongoing agitation for Ayu’s resignation was not “out of place.”
He said, “We have a tradition of zoning our party offices. It is not a new thing to us that if the presidential candidate comes from the North, the chairman comes from the South.”
Recalling a similar scenario in 2008, Baraje said the then national chairman, Ahmadu Ali, had to go after the elections had been conducted and won.
The former chairman also said the party had agreed earlier in the year during its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja that party offices should be shared between the North and the South and that whichever zone that produced the presidential candidate should not produce the chairman.
His words: “What am I trying to say with those examples? It is to reinforce the fact that we have a tradition without people clamouring for it.
“We don’t kill the tradition of our party. We operate in accordance with our processes and I can tell you that the processes of putting things in order have started.
“It is not as a result of agitations or cries from any corner that the chairman should resign. We have a tradition and the party must keep to that tradition.
“This is a tradition of balancing, of all-inclusiveness, of carrying every member of the PDP across the board along without fear or favour.
“We have a tradition and law and we will behave in accordance with our law. We are saying that the process is to ensure that we keep the balancing in accordance with our constitution. It is a process and we can’t hurry that process beyond necessary.”
The former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Bode George, has also thrown his weight behind the call for Ayu’s resignation to foster fairness and equity in the party.
George, a former military governor of Ondo State said the founding fathers of PDP never envisaged a time when the national chairman and presidential candidate will come from one bloc zone.
George advised Ayu to honour his promise to resign if the presidential candidate is picked from the North.
However, the party, appeared to be comfortable with the chairman as its Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said there was no need for Ayu to resign.