• Says sacking Ayu would’ve plunged party into more crisis
The spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, Charles Aniagwu, on Saturday, said the emergence of a former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, in the South as acting chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees, to join its vice presidential candidate and National Secretary, had created some form of balance in the party in the interim.
He explained why the Peoples Democratic Party was exploring other options in resolving the crisis rocking the party after the presidential primaries.
He said as a listening party, the PDP was taking a second look at the issues based on what was permissible in its constitution.
Aniagwu, who stated these during a programme on Arise TV, monitored in Abuja, said sacking the national chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, would have created a constitutional crisis for the party that would snowball into greater problems.
He said the main issue being canvassed by the stakeholders had been the stepping aside of Ayu, which had now been overtaken by events following the vote of confidence passed on him by the PDP National Executive Committee.
He said, “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 the 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 deputy national 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.”
Aniagwu said 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.
He said, “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 this 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 election, 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 are tendencies 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 election.”
The Atiku’s campaign spokesperwon also 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.
He said, “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 election, 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 election.”
Speaking on the performance of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in Delta State and the value he would bring to the ticket as vice presidential candidate, Aniagwu, who is Information Commissioner in Delta, said Okowa had performed tremendously with his five-point agenda, adding that job creation through skill acquisition had been profound.
He said Okowa had improved the standard of living of the people by reducing poverty in the state which attracted the National Bureau of Statistics ranking as the second least poor state in the country in 2018.
On infrastructural development, he said Okowa had 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, area 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 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 issue of corruption, bad economy, insecurity, they happen because our diversity was badly mismanaged by the APC,” Aniagwu stated.