The deeply embattled Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, appears to have moved on from the crisis rocking it over the clamour by some aggrieved members of the party, led by the Rivers State governor, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, for the sack of the national chairman of the party, Prof. Iyorchia Ayu to seek other options of resolving it within.
Spokesperson of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, and Delta State commissioner of information, Charles Aniagwu, gave this indication on Saturday when he spoke on Arise News. Noting that the main issue being canvassed by the stakeholders was the stepping down of the national chairman, Aniagwu argued that with the vote of confidence passed on Ayu at the recent national executive committee, NEC meeting, and other alterations made in the party structure, the agitation had been overtaken by events. He argued that sacking Senator Ayu now would plunge the party into a constitutional crisis, that could snowball into greater problems than what the party is currently faced with..
Aniagwu was however quick to disabuse the mind of people as to the implication of the outcome of the NEC meeting. According to him, “People may misinterpret it to mean calling the bluff of certain stakeholders; but that is far from it because the party leadership examined the issues vis-a-vis the provisions of the party’s constitution as amended in 2017. When you look at that constitution, there are principal officers called the National Working Committee of the party led by the National Chairman; and in the order of hierarchy, the Deputy National Chairman, who must also come from same zone with the National Chairman, is next in line.
“The third in line is the National Secretary; and when you look at these positions, the National Chairman is from the North; the second in command is also from the North by virtue of the provision of the party’s constitution. In section 45 of the party’s constitution, in the event of removal or resignation of the National Chairman, the National Deputy Chairman takes over, and acts in the position of that National Chairman pending when the party is able to organise another election, or do a NEC meeting to be able to take a decision as to how to rearrange the hierarchy of the party”.
The campaign spokesperson further explained that because the positions were elective positions, even if Ayu were to step down for power to come to the South, the provisions of the constitution of the party would also be offended.
“That can only happen if you can also take a decision to remove the Deputy National Chairman of the party who the lot immediately falls on by provisions of the law. Even if the party is able to solve that puzzle by bringing both National Chairman and Deputy to South, the third person in the hierarchy of the national working committee of the party is the national secretary; and that is in the South, specifically Senator Samuel Anyanwu from Imo State.
“Now if you decide to bring these two positions to the South, have you also made arrangements to take the National Secretary to the North? Because of these legal impediments, the party examined it that given the time that we have which is just about six months to the general elections, that it may likely snowball into some form of crisis that could trigger a whole lot of discomfort within the party if we proceed to begin to make these changes; that there is the tendency that the party may be embroiled in a crisis that would be worse than the one we are seeing at the moment.
“That greater crisis is what the ruling APC is waiting to happen, but the leadership of the party is intelligent enough, and I’m happy that Governor Nyesom Wike and other leaders appreciate the need for the party to move as a whole into the 2023 general elections.”
The campaign spokesman further said it was on the basis of this that the party decided to look at what was possible at the moment, and that gave room for the resignation of Senator Walid Jibrin, and subsequent emergence of Senator Adolphus Wabara as Chairman, Board of Trustees.
“The emergence of Wabara in the south to join the vice presidential candidate and national secretary, had created some form of balance in the interim. But what is most important is that there is a bigger elephant here which is winning the 2023 general elections because Nigerians are looking up to the PDP to rescue the nation from where we are at the moment.
“I am convinced that our leaders who have been craving for these changes, would appreciate the fact that the party is listening; but because of time, probably when the party may have won the elections in 2023 by the grace of God, we can now proceed to make some of these alterations that may not be injurious to our quest to win the general elections,” Aniagwu said.
On the performance of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in Delta, and the value he brings to the ticket as Vice-Presidential candidate, Aniagwu said his principal Okowa had performed tremendously with his five-point agenda, adding that job creation through skill acquisition has been profound.
He noted Okowa had improved the standard of living of the people by reducing poverty in the state which attracted National Bureau of Statistics’ (NBS) ranking as the second least poor state in the country in 2018.
On infrastructure development, he said Okowa has constructed well over 1,833km of roads with over 900km of drains across the three Senatorial Districts. “But what is most important to us is what we have done in the creeks of Delta, areas that were hitherto referred to as very difficult terrains to develop. We have made a whole lot of impact in that region which is why we are enjoying a whole lot of peace in the Niger Delta.
“For a very long time now, we have been able to ensure that our brothers and sisters in the creeks are carried along, and this is one of the things that our principal, the presidential candidate, saw and said I need a partner who is progressive in nature. A partner that can address the issues of the youths, and a partner that can help address the issues of unity of our country because Delta is a microcosm of Nigeria where you have diverse ethnic groups.
“When we live in unity as a country, you will discover that we will return to winning ways. All these other symptomatic malaise in our country will be solved because issues of corruption, bad economy, insecurity, they happen because our diversity was badly mismanaged by the APC,” Aniagwu stated.