A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and National Secretary of the Concerned PDP League (CPDPL), Tasiu M. Muhammed has vehemently condemned the position of Atiku and others for embracing injustice and consolidating Northern domination of the party. He advises the leadership of the PDP to rethink without delay and embrace equity, fairness, and justice.
Muhammed spoke to DENTON NEWS on Sunday after the CPDPL executive meeting. Reacting to the crisis rocking the party, particularly the calls by many eminent party members for the resignation of the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu. Muhammed quoted Denis Healy, a former British Labour MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer that “when you’re in a hole, stop digging”. He cautioned those supporting the present injustice, particularly Atiku’s loyalists to refrain from digging deep political holes but embrace equity and fairness to enable political equanimity to prevail. Muhammed wondered why Atiku is so intransigent over Ayu’s untenable position, when in 2014 -2015, “he fought against supposed injustice in PDP. He should know better than anybody about the power of aggrieved members and leaders in truncating the prospective victory of a political party”.
Recall that Atiku on a visit on Wednesday to the southwest PDP stakeholders in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state, said, the demands for the resignation of Ayu will only be possible with constitutional amendment and claims in some quarters that, Ayu’s removal will lead to a constitutional crisis. Also, the PDP northern elders support Ayu’s continued stay in office.
DENTON NEWS reports that the lingering crisis began after PDP under the watchful eyes of Ayu jettisoned section 7 subsection 3(c) and section 46 subsection 3 of the PDP constitution as amended, 2017, by throwing open the presidential ticket of the main opposition party earlier this year.
That the unconstitutional act by Ayu and his cronies angered some groups in the party, particularly southern members of the party. It birthed the imbalance, bad blood, and grievance of the majority of party faithful, who are calling for the removal of the embattled chairman most especially, with the emergence of the former Vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as the presidential flag bearer of the party.
“As a group, we have great respect for our leaders but that will not deter us from telling them the truth. The claim by Atiku that, Ayu can only be removed if the PDP constitution is amended is very incorrect and does not have any constitutional basis or backing. This is a demonstration of double standard and inconsistency, given that Atiku has accepted or conceded to the imbalance and distortion to the party arising from his emergence as the presidential candidate of the party. has brought on the party and told gov. Wike came a day after the convention, should have the courage to deny or confirm it if he wants Nigerians to take him seriously, Muhammed said.”
“Ayu himself has said on two occasions as reported that, if a northerner emerges the flag bearer of the party, he will resign to create room for balancing. So why can’t Ayu and Atiku keep to their words? How do they want us to believe anything they say if they can’t keep to their words? Muhammed further question.”
He also said, “Hon. Charles Aniagwu and Sen. Emmanuel Orker-Jev claim that Ayu’s removal may lead to a greater crisis in the party is an absolute falsehood, and a lack of fair judgment.”
“I want to ask Atiku and his supporters if the PDP constitution was amended before the ticket for the presidential primary was thrown open as against section 7 subsection 3(c)? Or did we amend the constitution before Atiku and others who decamped from the party but returned back to continue enjoying the seniority and privileges conferred on them by their previous status as against section 17? Muhammed quires.
Let me also ask he said, “is Atiku by his statement implying that, the presidential primary through which he emerge as the candidate is unconstitutional and invalid? because the constitutional provision is for the ticket to either be zoned to the north or south and not thrown open.
So Ayu’s resignation or removal does not need any constitutional amendment and will not lead to any constitutional crisis. Also, the narrative that, the south has to wait till after the general election will lead to the party having less than the required 25% votes in most of the southern states, which is the stronghold of our party, in other words, PDP will lose the 2023 election.
But just to perpetuate injustice because it is favouring them now, some members have trivialized the call by making it look as if it’s gov. Wike alone that’s demanding Ayu’s removal and pretending not to know that it’s a whole region (the South), group, and people with good and equitable judgment from the north that’s making the demand and not just Wike. Yes, Gov. Wike is the arrowhead and is pursuing doggedly, Muhammed said.
He said, “If Atiku and other party leaders honestly want to resolve the call for Ayu’s resignation, there are three options;
1. Ask the deputy national chairman north to resign alongside the national chairman for the deputy national chairman south to emerge as acting national chairman
2. Dissolve the National Working Committee (NWC) and set up a caretaker committee with a southerner as the chairman and a northerner as the secretary
3. Convene National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting with the purpose of electing Ayu’s replacement from the south, just the same way Alhaji Adamu Mua’ Zu was elected by NEC after the resignation of Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, in 2014.
Muhammed further told our correspondent that the most important thing stakeholders of the party should be concerned with is how to ensure Ayu resigns so that peace can be enthroned back to the party before the forthcoming elections putting into consideration the danger involved in going into the electioneering campaign season with legions of aggrieved members and leaders.
Muhammed however, commends gov. Wike, chief Olaboda George, Gov. Samuel Ortom, Gov. Seyi Makinde, and everyone standing and speaking out for justice and equity in the party. He said, on the Ayu must-go call they are ggg100% with Gov. Wike, Chief George, and everyone demanding for ayu to go.