A former presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze, has appealed to the party’s national chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, to save the PDP at this critical time by stepping aside from office.
He urged the PDP chairman to make the sacrifice if that would be the only condition to prevent the party from breaking apart.
The former PDP presidential aspirant made the appeal in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Friday by the Director General of his Campaign Organisation, Comrade Eric Oluwole.
Anakwenze, who described Ayu, as an eminent elder statesman of no mean status, observed that there was no sacrifice too big to make in the overall interest of the party and the country.
Anakwenze said that the aggrieved Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, who is insisting on Ayu’s resignation for a Southerner to take over to ensure balance, has its own valid points on which he could not be faulted.
He, however, noted that the Ndigbo of the South East within the PDP should be aggrieved more than Wike and any other political block within the party in the southern region, which he said had not been fair to the South East.
He said: “I could remember during my visit to Ayu and other NWC during my Campaign period, he showed me love and advised me as a good leader and I regard him so much. Ayu is noted for his patriotic zeal in the nation’s political circles, and will not want the house he helped to build to collapse before his own eyes a few days away from a resounding victory for the PDP in the February 25, 2023, Presidential Election.
“At this point, Ndigbo within the PDP is supposed to be more aggrieved than Wike. What we were pleading for then within the party is zoning. That was why I contested along with my brothers including Sam Obuabunwa, Pius Anyim, Peter Obi and two others.
“We can’t blame Wike. He is right in what he is fighting for – balance and Justice for the South as for the North as well. It should be recalled that Obi, in frustration, left the party for the Labour Party because he believed that Ndigbo cannot be president on the platform of the PDP with the conditions prevailing within now. But I choose to still remain at the party because of the interest I have in the party.
“Therefore, if Southern PDP Stakeholders are calling Ayu to resign as a solution to the crisis within the party, I think I have to appeal to him as a leader of our party, who has a good record, to do so, because of the overall interest and future of the party; and I know that he is going to be a Hero if he does so.”
Anakwenze, who noted that the most important thing is for the PDP to win the February 25 Presidential Election, warned that the suffering and helpless Nigerians, who have been highly expectant and praying passionately that a new PDP President is coming in to salvage them from their worsening daily agonies inflicted on them through the abysmal failure of the party in power, will not forgive our Party, if, by our inability to put our house in order, we allowed the ruling party to retain power, which it has woefully mismanaged in the last eight years.
He added: “I always believe that our leader, the former Vice President and our Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Abubakar, will find the solution to the crisis, along with our party Leaders across the board.
“The lingering crisis within the party deepened on Wednesday with the pull-out from the PDP Presidential Campaign by the Wike group, which insisted that Ayu must resign from office to ensure balance in the party’s leadership composition as the two most powerful positions within the party, the Presidential Candidate and National Chairman, are occupied by persons from the same Northern Political Region to the exclusion of the South.
“On their own, the party’s Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and National Chairman maintain that Ayu could only vacate office on completion of his four-year term in line with the party’s Constitution.
Anakwenze maintained that no sacrifice is too big to ensure that the PDP goes into the coming electoral battle, as a united and formidable force to rescue Nigeria
Anakwenze said: “I am sure that the eminent Dr Iyorchia Ayu, one of Nigeria’s most credible, foremost elder statesmen and founding fathers of the PDP, who is highly respected nationwide as a builder and administrator, will not want the house he helped to build to collapse before his own eyes.
“And I believe strongly that he will not consider any sacrifice, which indeed will turn him to a national hero, too big to make in the overall interest of our Party and dear Country Nigeria if his resignation is the only condition to prevent the PDP from breaking apart, few steps away from being handed a bigger victory, the highly prized Presidency of Nigeria! The victory that will mean so much to him, that will rescue Nigeria from the precipice, that will reward him so much, that will be in the interest of our great Party and the good people of our Great Country Nigeria!”