A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party and ex-presidential candidate, Sam Ohuabunwa has urged the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign if it will end the animosity between former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.
Mr Ayu had reportedly agreed to resign when he was elected as Chairman last year if the party chooses a Northerner as a presidential candidate.
After the emergence of Mr Abubakar as the party’s presidential flagbearer, it was expected that Mr Ayu would honour his word and exit the seat for a Southerner as part of efforts to massage zoning considerations within the PDP.
According to persons familiar with the matter, Mr Ayu’s resignation is also a condition given by Mr Wike for peace talks to succeed with Mr Atiku.
Mr Atiku defeated Mr Wike in the PDP presidential primaries and passed him over for the post of Vice-Presidential candidate but the latter is believed to be key for the party’s success in the 2023 presidential poll.
However, Mr Ayu has maintained he has no intention of resigning.
“I see him as a man of honour,” Mr Ohuabunwa said on Tuesday evening, referring to Mr Ayu. “If that is what he said, then he should follow the path of honour.
“Even if he didn’t say it, if he is the leader of the party who has brought us to this point, he should make the sacrifice. Do what needs to be done and make sure Nigerians are happy with PDP, members of PDP are happy.
“If he needs to step down for that to happen, he should do so. We need to unify the party.”
Mr Ohuabunwa lamented the prolonged rift between Mr Atiku and Mr Wike, noting that it was a distraction for the PDP as the 2023 polls inches closer.
He said the inability of the party to settle the conflict shows a lack of conflict resolution capacity.
“This party is bleeding right now,” Mr Ohuabunwa said.