The Nyesom Wike factor has deepened the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party as he and his allies have pulled out of the Atiku Abubakar campaign team.
Wike wants the party’s Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign for a southern candidate, since he is from the North where Atiku also hails from.
With him in the crusade are party elders such as Bode George, Jonah Jang, Jerry Gana, Ayo Fayose and Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.
George, who attended the group’s meeting, noted in a statement that it had decided to distance itself from the Atiku’s campaign machinery.
The long meeting was held at Governor Wike’s private residence, near Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
They maintained that their position was not negotiable as the chairmanship of Ayu undermined the unity and He said,
“We resolve that we are deeply concerned by the division in our party. We are aware that over the years our party has developed conflict resolution mechanisms that guarantee inclusiveness.
“The published presidential campaign council list translates to putting the cat before the horse. The pertinent issue remains the resolution of the leadership which is a departure of
“Senator Iyorchia Ayu must resign as the National Chairman of the party for an acting Chairman of the Southern Nigerian extraction to emerge and lead the party on the national campaign.
“Consequently, we resolve not to participate in the campaign council in whatever capacity until the resignation of Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.”
The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, also said: “We hope that the powers that be listen to the voice of reason and do the needful”.
On his part, former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, said, “You cannot build on a faulty foundation.
“This call for the chairman to step down or resign is not because any of us is aggrieved but because we believe it is important to ensure a just, fair, principled, and constitutional structure for the party. If we want to restructure Nigeria, we should have the courage to restructure our party”.