Former Vice President and Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has reacted to the removal of Governor Nyesom Wike’s faction from the party’s presidential campaign council.
In a statement signed and released on Wednesday, a few hours after the news of the group’s withdrawal broke, Atiku called on Wike and his associates to join him in rescuing Nigeria. He also stated that the decision of the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign or not remains a personal decision of the national chairman.
He stressed, however, that “we must not, for one minute, shirk our responsibility to reconstruct this beautiful nation of ours for the sake of the country and future generations.”
“As a result, we must press on with the work and mandate that we have been given.” It is thus time to proceed with the tremendous responsibilities of nation building that lie ahead of us.”
As a believer in the rule of law, the former vice president stated that any action to remove Ayu must follow the dictates and laws of the PDP constitution.
In the statement, Atiku said that his attention was “drawn to a news clip in which several very senior and influential members of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), addressed the press and, amongst other things, declared that they are withdrawing, forthwith, from the Presidential Campaign Council set up by our party to judiciously plan and prosecute the general elections set to hold in February and March 2023, on the one hand; and reiterated their earlier calls for the resignation or removal from office of the national chairman of our party, Senator Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, on the other hand.
“The people that addressed the press must have their reasons for withdrawing from the Presidential Campaign Council, and I will not speculate as to what those reasons may be.
“Personally, I am quite surprised with this withdrawal because, as I have been informed by officials of our party, apart from the Rivers State chapter of the PDP, all the remaining states of the federation submitted names of people who they wanted included in the Presidential Campaign Council”.
On the calls for the resignation or removal from office of our national chairman, the PDP presidential candidate said, “I must reiterate what I have said severally in public and in private; the decision for Dr. Iyorchia Ayu to resign from office is personal to Dr. Ayu and, neither I nor anyone else can make that decision for him.
“As to the calls for the removal of Dr. Ayu from office, however, I will state that, as a committed democrat and firm believer in the rule of law and democratic tenets, and our party being one set up, organized and regulated by law and our constitution, it is my absolute belief that every thing that we do in our party must be done in accordance with, and conformity to, the law and our constitution.
‘If Dr. Ayu is to be removed from office, it must be done in accordance with the laws that set out the basis for such removal. In any event, you will all recall that the very body that is empowered by law to initiate this removal from office, has already passed a vote of confidence in him.
“Now, our nation is currently in the throes of a multidimensional crisis encompassing insecurity, economic meltdown, disunity and mutual mistrust and educational dislocations, to mention a few. I have a plan to address these issues and I have, graciously, been given the ticket to lead our great party in next year’s presidential elections, with the singular mandate to come and lead the efforts to cure these ills.
” It is in this light that I have reached out to every single member of our great party to join me in the massive undertaking required to reset the ship of state, and help rebuild our country. Every single person who loves this country, as I do, is needed for the arduous tasks that face us ahead as a nation, and this includes every member of the PDP.
“And it is my fervent hope and prayer that every man and woman of goodwill will join hands with us to help rebuild and reposition our beloved country. In this light, therefore, I will urge those members of our party that have stated their resolve to withdraw from the Presidential Campaign Council to have a rethink, retrace their steps, and join us in these efforts.
“Despite the above, and for the sake of our country, our children, and those yet to be born, we must not shirk our duty to reconstruct our dear country.”
“As a result, we must press on with the work and mandate that we have been given.” It is now time to move on to the daunting duties of nation building that lie ahead of us.
“May God lead us all and comfort our great party and dear nation.”