The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, has crimes, according to Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike, that are so heinous that his children will forsake him, if they are revealed.
Wike stated this during a live media event on Friday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, saying that Ayu lacks the authority to speak to Nigerians and advocate for the PDP ahead of the general elections in 2023.
The governor claimed that the PDP chairman lacked integrity and that he was also paid twice for a single project.
Concerning the N1 billion he claimed Ayu of collected, the governor said, “There cannot be any comment. He (Ayu) cannot say anything. Look, I am the Governor of Rivers state and I don’t just come out to speak.
“Let Ayu say he did not collect N1 billion. In fact, let me also tell you, Ayu collected N100 million from a Governor that he was going to renovate our democratic institution and then he (Ayu) went back to the PDP NWC and took the same N100 million naira for doing the same work.
“What kind of system is that? I am telling you all these are facts. Let him (Ayu) say no first and I will tell you (those he collected money from).
“A leader must be a man of integrity. And I have realised that people find it hard to have that (integrity) lately. You a presenting a man (Ayu) who lacked integrity as chairman of the party. Somebody that wants to lead a campaign to take the reigns of government?
“What is the problem with what we are asking of Ayu? We are saying let there be equity, let there be fairness and justice. But if you don’t want it that way then you are the one causing the crisis (in the party) and that shows you (Ayu) don’t have leadership skills because this is the time to show it. This is the time to show leadership skills on the part of those who are leaders of the party.”
In order for the PDP to have a chance of winning the 2023 presidential election, according to Wike, the party and its presidential candidate must act morally.
In accordance with the principles of equity, fairness, and justice, the governor said that Ayu’s resignation as PDP national chairman is a must so that a southerner could fill the position.
He said: “Any leader of a group, who causes crisis within the group that he leads, truly lacks the requisite skills to navigate affairs of such group.
“This is the time to show leadership skill on the part of those who are leaders of the party. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is the presidential candidate. He is the one who feels the pain.”
Wike cited Section 7 (3) (c) of the party’s constitution, which stipulates that all political and elective offices must be zoned.
He questioned why it had become so challenging for Ayu to uphold the constitution or even to follow his word and resign from government.
“We have not held the presidential primary before the national chairman of the party said if the presidential candidate emerges from his area, he will quit”, he said, adding that the mission to rescue Nigeria required a leader with proven integrity to lead the party.
Wike continues, “For God’s sake, knowing that you are in a party that wants to take over the reign of governance in the country, we know Nigerians know the problems confronting the country.
“If a leader does not have integrity, forget it. We need a man who will tell his people this; a man who will be firm, a man who will be courageous to do those things that even people find it difficult to do.
“You are presenting a man who is the head of the party, the chairman of the party, who has no integrity to lead the campaign to take over the reigns of governance.”
According to him, the chairmanship position of the party should go south before the elections, saying it was not acceptable to suggest such rotation would take place after the election.
“Who is there to decide for the South? Why will you tell me until when you finish election that’s when a southerner will emerge as chairman”, he said.
Wike refuted the report in the media that some former PDP governors, including Dr Peter Odili, were sent to him to resolve the crisis in the party.
In addition, Wike bemoaned the persistent flooding that occurs in some areas of the nation as a result of the federal government’s lack of effort to dredge the Benue and Niger rivers.
Wike claimed that paying attention to the sources of water flow and ending the pain of Nigerians, who are affected every year, were two ways to address the devastating annual flooding crisis.
He said: “I asked what is this problem that we can’t dredge River Benue and River Niger? Each time I fly over Benue, the sight makes me cry. We won’t have had so much problem to this extent if we dredge them
“But the politics, I do not know. Who is interested for River Benue, River Niger not to be dredged, and that has caused so much hardship for our people.
“How can government from time refused to dredge the rivers and I heard, sometime, that they awarded the Calabar River. What happened, where is the money?”