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REWIND: In 2021, Ayu promised to resign if northerner becomes PDP presidential candidate

REWIND: In 2021, Ayu promised to resign if northerner becomes PDP presidential candidate
August 16
16:42 2022

Amidst the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2023 presidential election stands the polarising figure of Iyorchia Ayu, the party’s national chairman.

The former senator’s popularity within the party has grown shy of the percentage that led him to become the national chairman on consensus last October.

Cracks in the opposition party widened after Atiku Abubakar emerged as the presidential candidate, and overlooked Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, when selecting his running mate.

There have been calls for Ayu to resign on the grounds that the party’s presidential candidate and the national chairman cannot be from the same region — both are northerners, from Benue and Adamawa respectively.

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Reacting to the growing clamour, Simon Imobo-Tswana, special adviser on media and communications to Ayu, said his principal has no plan to resign from his position.

He added that the PDP national chairman “was elected for a tenure of four years”.

“We restate, therefore, that the PDP National Chairman has not resigned and has no plan of resigning. For clarity and emphasis, he was elected for a tenure of four years,” he said.

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“Sections 45 and 47 of the PDP Constitution are clear on the removal and/or resignation of the National Chairman. Those who don’t know this should get copies of the party’s Constitution for more information on the matter.”

Ayu’s current stand is however contrary to the promise he made in October 2021, during the lead-up to the party’s convention.

In a chat with Arise TV at that time, Ayu pledged to “step down after a presidential candidate emerges and happens to be in the north”.

He added that he was willing to “do everything to promote the interest and image of my party.”

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“Luckily, party positions we have agreed are not tied to executive and legislative positions. However, I’m a very democratic person and I will do everything to promote the interest and image of my party,” he had said.

“If the PDP says I should step down after a presidential candidate emerges and happens to be in the north, I will be very glad to do so because what we want is to take over the government and run it in the interest of Nigerians. I’ll sacrifice anything to ensure that my party wins.”

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