The camp of Governor ANyesom Wike of Rivers State has said the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Iyorchia Ayu, must resign for peace to return to the party.
However, the presidential candidate of the party and former vice president Atiku Abubakar is insisting that Ayu sees out his tenure or at least the duration of the presidential election.
This is all happening as the PDP seeks to ensure peace and unity returns t the party currently rocked with crisis.
A source said: “The party is drifting and party leaders are concerned. The National Working Committee (NWC) is divided now.
“Some governors, ex-governors, ex-ministers and founding fathers of the party like a former National Security Adviser Gen. Aliyu Gusau, ex-President of the Senate Bukola Saraki, Governors Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Douye Diri and Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, ex-Governors Henry Seriake Dickson, Sule Lamido, Babangida Aliyu, Boni Haruna and others are with Atiku.
“But from Wike’s camp, a new set of power brokers is emerging. They include Governors Seyi Makinde and Samuel Ortom, ex-governor Hassan Dankwambo, Ayodele Fayose and Donald Duke, a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), many senators and members of the House of Representatives.
“Disturbed by the division, especially threat to PDP chances in swing states like Kano, Lagos and Rivers states, a former President of the Senate, some ex-ministers and leaders of the party are trying to make amend. The former Senate President, now leading lobbying for fresh talks between Atiku and Wike.
“In spite of the fact that Wike has made himself incommunicado to Atiku, the ex-Senate President is optimistic that PDP leaders will close ranks.”
A source in Wike’s camp gave more insight into why Wike was angry with Atiku.
The source said Atiku cannot describe Wike as unfit to be a vice presidential candidate or a liability to his mandate.
The source said: “The way the situation is going, Nigerians will soon know the truth. Wike is a committed and loyal party leader. He has been there for PDP when some leaders abandoned it.
“Wike was recommended by a committee as vice presidential candidate of the party, but some forces in the party abandoned the report without mutual consultations.
“They came up with ridiculous excuses of temperament, ambition and overzealousness. When it comes to certain challenges, Wike is useful.
“Yet, it has pleased some leaders of the party to wish him away as nobody. They came up with ridiculous excuses.
“Also, what is hurting the Rivers State governor and his strategists is that all mutual decisions agreed with Atiku were not honoured, including the one at their meeting after the presidential primaries. Atiku paid a visit to Wike in Abuja and some issues came up.
“The next thing that happened in the party was that the likes of ex-Governor Babangida Aliyu started attacking Wike. The hand was Esau’s, the voice was Jacob’s.”
The source added: “Wike is ready to draw the battle lines any moment from now because Atiku’s camp has not been forthcoming, especially on a minimum demand.
“It was agreed that once a presidential candidate comes from the North, the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, will step down.
“If PDP leaders cannot comply with a minimum threshold, you can imagine what will happen after the party wins the 2023 poll.”