Loyalists of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike have insisted on the restructuring of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership to accommodate more southerners.
Wike loyalists stated this in an interview with Punch.
This is coming as Wike and the presidential candidate of the party Atiku Abubakar met in Abuja on Thursday.
Loyalist of the Rivers state governor have said that irrespective of the outcome of the meeting between both politicians there has to be a reshuffling of the party’s leadership, noting that the northerners cannot occupy the positions of the Board of Trustees, chairman, the national chairman and governors’ forum chairman.
A PDP chieftain and former member of the House of Representatives, Ogbonna Nwuke told the publication that they would support any genuine decision by the party to ensure peace in the fold.
He said: “We are party loyalists. It stands to reason that as party men, good party men, we will support any move, any decision, any aspiration made by the party or its leadership to ensure that peace reigns in our midst.”
However, the former Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications argued that to lay the foundation of peace there has to be harmony, respect and understanding.
He added, “We are watching from the sidelines, at least to see what will transpire. The BoT has set up a committee to look into the matter. We understand that they want to start with the standard-bearer, we are waiting. As the standard-bearer, he is the shepherd. It is his responsibility to gather the flock.
“So, if Atiku is sincere and wants unity within the party, peace will return. If he believes he has all it takes to go it alone, if he believes that those who are genuinely aggrieved should be left by the wayside, then we will sit by and watch the masquerade play.“
When asked if he was calling for the restructuring of the party so southerners could step into some leadership positions, he agreed.
Nwuke added, “Yes, basically, that is why I raised those questions. What is the logic in all of that when everything is lopsided? We all belong to the same political party and everything is one sided; that is not what was envisioned by the constitution of the PDP.
“So, certainly restructuring these things would have been the first step forward.”
On what their demands are, Nwuke said, “We demand respect, we demand equity, fairness and justice. We demand adherence to the dictates of the PDP constitution: Its spirit and letters have given a sense of inclusion and balance in past, especially when it comes to sharing positions within the party.’’
Another source, the Chairman of Gokana Local Government Area, Confidence Deko, said: ‘’My satisfaction will be when he (Governor Wike) will come back to us and say he is satisfied and we should move on. Until then, he is the one to communicate that satisfaction to us.
“I will tell you he is in a better position to handle the issues to the extent that anything that will satisfy him to mean that yes indeed, he has been so reached and spoken to.
“And then for us who are his supporters, the moment he is satisfied, yes; we will join him.”
A chieftain of the party in the state, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “To ensure genuine reconciliation, the PDP must change its leadership structure. It must show that it cares for the South.”
Also a member of the state party executive noted, “If Atiku is serious with reconciliation, (PDP chairman, Iyorchia) Ayu must step down. (Gov Aminu) Tambuwal cannot continue to be the governors’ forum chairman.”