Bode George calls for Ayu’s resignation
The National chairman of the opposition People’s Democratic Party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, should honour his promise to resign, if the presidential candidate is picked from the north.
A former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Deputy Chairman Chief Olabode George, made the call when he spoke to journalists in Lagos.
He said the emergence of the chairman and flag bearer from one zone has violated the principle of inclusivity.
George, a retired Naval Commodore and one-military governor of Ondo State, also urged the main opposition party to put its house in order ahead of next year’s polls.
He also advised the presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, and Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike to sheathe their swords in the interest of the party.
George, who spoke with reporters in Lagos on the state of the nation, urged Wike to emulate him by making sacrifice for the platform.
The party elder said although he aspired to serve as national chairman, he had to bury the ambition when it was not zoned to the Southwest, contrary to the expectation of party faithful in the region.
George maintained that the fact that Ayu has continued to function as chairman after Atiku became candidate has upset some chieftains from the South.
He said:”Ayu said once the presidential candidate emerged from the North, he will resign. I want to take on him for his word. Why are you now trying to reverse the role? Your word must be your bond.”
George recalled that the PDP founding fathers had promised the distribution of six core positions among the six zones to foster equity and unity.
He listed the positions as president, vice president, Secretary to Government of the Federation, Senate President, House of Representatives Speaker and National Chairman.
In his view, their proposal heralded the culture of zoning and rotation in a bid to give the six regions a sense of inclusion and belonging.
George also noted the sentiment in the South over the likelihood of a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari from the North in 2023, lamenting that PDP never anticipated the scenario.
He explained that while party positions were being zoned initially, the party permitted the entry of aspirants from the South and North into the contest for presidential ticket.
He stressed: ”When the chairman was zoned to the North, they should have zoned the presidential slot to the South. I said with what APC has done to Nigeria, zoning is now more important than in 1999.”
However, George called for dialogue and peace in the party, saying that the warring chieftains should calm down.
He urged Wike to maintain an abiding interest and fidelity to the PDP, stressing that it is still the best in terms of national outlook, format and reputation.
George said politicians should bear in mind that “in politics, you win some, you lose some.”
The former Deputy Chairman also advised Atiku not to relent in continuous consultations and reconciliation because it is in his interest and the collective interest of the party.
He said: ”I appeal to all sides to sheathe their swords. National elections are coming. PDP must convince Nigerians that it can manage the resources of the country in the best interest of the people.
“They should avoid statement of arrogance, innuendos, name calling that can destroy the party. The Board of Trustees must rise up to the occasion and the warring chieftains should calm down. There have been mistakes. I also suffered from mistakes during the contest for national chairman.
“I never became chairman and I did not fade away. Those who did not get presidential ticket should not think it is the end.”