The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a new twist yesterday with 15 out of the 19 National Working Committee (NWC) members of the party demanding that the National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, should resign.
The weekly NWC meeting was held preparatory to the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting scheduled today, as well as other organs of the party.
Ayu’s continued stay in office after the emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who is from the same region as the PDP presidential candidate for next year’s election, has been ruffling feathers in the party.
The National Chairman presided over Wednesday’s NWC meeting. A source at the meeting said all pending matters were amicably resolved, including membership of the presidential campaign council to be presented to the NEC until when it got to the issue of Ayu’s continued stay in office. It was further gathered that no formal motion was moved for a vote of no confidence on the National Chairman. According to the source, the National Chairman left the meeting immediately the matter was in-troduced. A meeting was held on Tuesday where 15 members signed that Ayu should vacate office.
The source said: “It was unanimous that he should leave. Only four members are not in support; 15 of us signed that he should leave.” However, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, debunked that Ayu was told to leave by the NWC members.
“What I can tell you is that such a matter was not raised at the meeting at the time I was there. “What we discussed at the meeting was the campaign council, the organogram or the structure and the reconciliation committee. “The presidential candidate met with the aspirants and we feel as a party that we have to do something.
“But about the issue of the National Chairman resigning, such did not come up at the meeting,” Ologunagba stated. Meanwhile, the meeting between Atiku and former presidential aspirants did not record much turnout. Only five of the aspirants attended.
Those present at the meeting, which was held behind closed doors, were Alhaji Hayatu-Deen Mohammed, Otunba Dele Momodu, Charles Ndukwe, Diana Oliver and Chikwendu Kalu. Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike, his Sokoto, Akwa Ibom and Bauchi counterparts, as well as former President of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim, were conspicuously absent. The meeting was part of the reachout by the presidential candidate to key stakeholders preparatory to the commencement of the campaign. Atiku had met with PDP governorship candidates and former presiding officers of the House of Representatives.