2023: Atiku Reacts To Wike Camp’s Withdrawal From Campaign
After a long meeting, which started Tuesday evening and ended Wednesday morning in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the group said they will not participate in Atiku’s campaign activities unless the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, vacates his seat for a southerner.
They think that this will guarantee the party’s “balance.”
Last week, some supporters of Wike were appointed to the PDP presidential campaign council (PCC).
Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State, is one of them. He was appointed the vice chairman (south) of the same committee, along with Olusegun Mimiko, the former governor of Ondo, and Ayo Fayose, his counterpart in Ekiti.
The trio also attended the conference in Port Harcourt where it was decided to end the campaign.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Atiku said that the news of Mr. Wike and his friends’ departure stunned him, but he maintained that he was unable to make Mr. Ayu leave absent the chairman’s consent.
He said: “I won’t speculate as to what those reasons may be; the folks that addressed the press must have their reasons for quitting from the Presidential Campaign Council.
Personally, I am rather astonished by this withdrawal because, according to party leaders, all other states of the federation—aside from the PDP branch in Rivers State—submitted names of individuals they wanted to be included on the Presidential Campaign Council.
Regarding the requests for our national chairman’s resignation or removal from office, I must restate what I have said “many” times in public and privately: Dr. Iyorchia Ayu must decide whether to step down from his position on his own, and neither I nor anyone else can make that decision for him.
Regarding the calls for Dr. Ayu’s resignation, however, I will state that, as a devoted democrat and firm believer in the rule of law and democratic tenets, and because our party is one that is set up, organized, and governed by law and our constitution, it is my unwavering belief that everything we do in our party must be done in accordance with, and conformity to, the law and our constitution.
“If Dr. Ayu’s office is to be terminated, it must be done in line with the laws that specify the grounds for such termination. You will all remember, however, that the same body authorized by law to begin this removal from office has already given him a vote of confidence.