Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, says he will work for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, but that Iyorchia Ayu, the national chairman, must resign.
Wike is having a running battle with Atiku Abubakar, PDP presidential candidate, and has refused to support his presidential bid.
The governor is insisting that Ayu, whom he accuses of corruption, must resign as a condition for supporting the campaign effort.
Speaking when he hosted Cross River State PDP governorship, senatorial, House of Representatives, House of Assembly candidates and PDP local government party chairmen at his private residence in Rumueprikom, Rivers, on Thursday, Wike said the effort to resolve the crisis rocking the PDP has been frustrated by “rent seekers” in the party.
“We have finished presidential primaries, we have a presidential candidate. Is Wike saying remove presidential candidate? Is Wike saying remove vice presidential candidate? So, what are you begging me for? All I am saying, and I will continue to say is that you have taken president, give us (national) chairman,” he said.
“Nobody wants to speak the truth. If I am saying remove the presidential candidate, if I am saying remove the vice presidential candidate, then you will say why is he doing this.”
Wike said refusal to cede the national chairman position to the south, will stoke the crisis.
“He (national chairman) said, if the presidential candidate comes from the north, he will resign , which means he has had this in mind. Now, the thing has come to reality, now resign, no. And people are saying go and talk to Wike,” he said.
“I’ve accepted the presidential candidate, I have accepted the vice presidential candidate, what’s the problem again. You, fulfil your part. Let the South have something, that is all I’m preaching. You cannot have presidential candidate, national chairman, director general of the campaign.
“This is period that power game is being played. If you don’t have it now, forget it. If anybody tells you, let (Iyorchia) Ayu resign after election is conducted, then you are a foolish person. This is the time decision is being made. This is the time the presidential candidate, national chairman and the leader of campaign will sit, when election is won in February, before the president is sworn in, decisions would have been made.”