The Ekiti State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has pledged its unconditional support for the presidential aspiration of the former Vice President of Nigeria and the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku.
The party also passed a vote of confidence on the PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, for providing credible leadership and direction for the party.
In a statement made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, the Ekiti State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Raphael Adeyanju, said, “The Ekiti State chapter of the PDP, after a critical review of the interactive session of our Presidential Candidate, His Excellency Abubakar Atiku with the party leaders and stakeholders of the party in the Southwest , in Ibadan on Tuesday, is convinced that the agitation for the resignation of the party’s National Chairman , Senator Iyorchia Ayu should be suspended in the best interest of the party.”
During the stakeholders’ meeting, the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, who was the chief host had insisted that Ayu must step down for a Southerner to emerge as National Chairman, since Atiku, a Northerner is the party’s presidential flag bearer.
The Ekiti State chapter of the opposition party maintained that there is a great wisdom in the former Vice President’s response that Ayu’s resignation must be done in accordance with the party’s constitution, rules, regulations and practice.
Adeyanju stated that: “Our party believes in the sanctity of our constitution, we must therefore do everything to maintain this sanctity. Any action that undermines the spirit of the party’s constitution at this crucial stage can only be considered as a deliberate attempt to sabotage the next presidential election
“If we cannot respect our own rules, guidelines and constitution as a party how will Nigerians trust us to respect the constitution of the Federal Republic, if voted into office?
“We appreciate the real concern of our zonal leaders and their determination to protect the interest of members against any form of marginalization, but we must also consider the fact that we also have very few months to go into the election, with a ruling party as our main opponent.
“Any hardliner stance at this crucial stance can only lead to a constitutional crisis and unnecessary litigation. These are avoidable distractions that must not be encouraged. We are aware that the next party official that has the constitutional right to succeed Ayu will also come from the Northern section of the country,while major positions will have to be swapped between the Northern and Southern zones of the country.”
The PDP spokesperson explained that major changes can not be affected within the party structure without another national convention that will involve a lot of planning and money.
He said, “Do we have the time and the resources to go into another National Convention now? How many party members currently holding executive positions will be ready to sacrifice their positions at this crucial period? Can you trust party members not to go into litigation over issues like these? That is why we wish to appeal to all stakeholders to suspend all agitations till after the election.
“We are ready to kickstart Atiku’s campaign in Ekiti as soon as possible and we enjoin all our leaders to participate actively as it is obvious that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is the only candidate that unites our nation at this critical moment.”