UPDATED: Wike’s team withdraws from Atiku’s campaign
More details have emerged on the Wike group’s decision to pull out of the Atiku Presidential Campaign’s activities, worsening the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Herald earlier reported that the Wike group took the decision to withdraw from the campaign after a stormy session in Rivers early Wednesday.
It was learnt that the session was held at the country home of Wike in Obio-Akpor.
A resolution on the outcome of the meeting was read by former PDP Vice National Chairman (South West), Chief Bode George.
George said that the meeting resolved that National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu must quit his post if the Wike group must participate in the presidential campaign activities.
The group insisted that the chairman’s resignation would precede any deal with Atiku, noting that their position was non-negotiable.
The Wike group comprises founding members of the party, sitting and former governors, former ministers, and other PDP stakeholders.
Present at the meeting were Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; former Governors Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, Ayo Fayose of Ekiti, Donald Duke of Cross River, Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe and Jonah Jang of Plateau, former Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke.
Others at the meeting former Information Minister, Jerry Gana; South-South Chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih; former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chibudom Nwuche; Senator Suleiman Nazif, Nnenna Ukeje, among several others.
“Senator Iyorchia Ayu must resign as the National Chairman of the party for an acting Chairman of the Southern Nigerian extraction to emerge and lead the party on the national campaign.
“Consequently, we resolve not to participate in the campaign council in whatever capacity until the resignation of Dr. Iyorchia Ayu,” George read from the resolution.
Elaborating on the grouse against Ayu, Senator Jonah Jang said, “For a National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu to go and embrace Sokoto Governor, Aminu Tanbuwal, calling him the hero of the convention meant that there was a private arrangement that was done with Tambuwal to shortchange other contestants including Governor Wike.
“Here was a referee, who helped one of his sides to score a goal and then blew the whistle. This is not what we formed the PDP to do for Nigerians. Therefore, we unequivocally ask that Ayu must step down”.