Supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, are in a state of panic following the London meeting between the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
Naija News reports that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has insisted on Ayu’s resignation as one of his conditions to back the presidential bid of Atiku.
Wike’s camp claimed that Ayu had “promised to resign” his position if the presidential candidate of the PDP emerged from the North.
But in a statement released through his media aide, Simon Imobo-Tswam, Ayu stated that he was elected as the National Chairman to lead the party for the next four years.
He added that he is on an assignment to lead PDP on a rescue mission by February 2023.
It was, however, gathered that Atiku may be willing to accept Wike’s demands following the Rivers State governor’s meeting with opposition politicians.
Naija News recalls that the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu had on Monday met with Wike and some PDP governors at a hotel in London, UK.
Also, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Peter Obi had met with Wike in a move aimed at building broad support for the aspiration of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate.
According to Saturday Sun, the meeting between Atiku and Wike had sent shock waves through Ayu and Atiku’s camp.
Recall that Atiku, through his media aide, Paul Ibe, on Thursday, had cautioned his supporters against making inflammatory comments that would jeopardize the party’s unity.
A source revealed that Ayu’s supporters, including a former North West governor, interpreted Atiku’s ‘London meeting with Wike and the statement cautioning his supporters against inflammatory statements as a sign that Atiku wants to ditch the camp.’
It was gathered that the PDP chairman has started making frantic efforts to mobilize some stakeholders to support him.
The source said, barring any last-minute change of plan, Ayu and some members of the NWC will be in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, today, to felicitate the governor’s wife on her birthday.
According to the source, the trip is intended to serve as an avenue for a rapprochement between the Wike camp and the national chairman.
He said: “They are planning to visit Benue under the guise of felicitating the wife of the governor on the occasion of her birthday. But the Benue visit is just an opportunity for them to reach out to the pro-Wike governors, especially Ortom, as part of peace building efforts.”