A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adakole Ijogi, has urged the national chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, to vacate his post in fulfilment of his promise to quit if the PDP produces a presidential candidate from northern Nigeria for next year’s polls.
“It is just a simple process to know that the party was built on certain fundamental principles of equity, fairness, justice, inclusion,” Ijogi, who hails from Benue State, said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Thursday.
His comment is the latest in the calls for Ayu to quit as the party’s chairman after former Vice President Atiku Abubakar emerged as the presidential candidate of the PDP in May.
Reports indicate that after losing the PDP presidential primary to Atiku, who is from Adamawa State in North-East Nigeria; Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, outlined conditions to remain within the party one of which includes that Ayu, who hails from Benue State in northern Nigeria, should step down for a southerner.
But Ayu on Wednesday maintained that he was not going to resign, contrary to the promise he made on October 2021 that “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…”.
“I was voted as PDP national chairman to serve for four years, I am not even a year old on the position,” the former lawmaker told BBC Hausa. “I have not violated any rules; in fact, I am working to bring reforms to the party. I am truly not bothered by the unnecessary controversy being generated.”
While preferring a solution to the controversy, Ijogi said, “You have the presidential candidate that is fixed, that is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. You now have the BoT chairman that is not fixed, that is flexible; that can leave or stay. We have the national chairman that can leave or stay. It depends on what the leadership of the party wants.
“They have to agree on what to give and from the feelers, we have gotten, they are requesting that the national chairman paves way for the chairmanship of the party to move south for equity, fairness, and justice, especially as we are going into the campaigns. This is not because there have been some internal wrangling and disagreement within some leaders of the party arising from the way the primaries went.
“I think the national leadership of the party is aware that the Peoples Democratic Party is not one individual and it is not the national chairman of the party that brought in the (presidential) candidate of the party.
“It is just a simple process to know that the party was built on certain fundamental principles of equity, fairness, justice, inclusion.
“The national chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, promised he was going to resign if a (presidential) candidate of northern Nigerian extraction emerges.”
Earlier, the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Walid Jibrin, and a northerner from Nasarawa State agreed that it is unfair for the party to have its presidential candidate and national chairman from the same region.