The Presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday said he is not in a position nor any other person to force the national chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu out of his position.
Abubakar, who was responding to the request by the Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike group for Ayu to quit the chairmanship position as a condition for reconciling with the party, said the decision to resign or not lies solely with the party chairman.
The former vice president said if Ayu will be removed from office, it must be done in accordance with the law and the party’s constitution.
“On the calls for the resignation or removal from office of our national chairman, however, 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,” Atiku said in a statement on Wednesday.
‘Let us join hands and move on with the task of nation building’ read further, “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 everything 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.
“The above notwithstanding, and for the sake of our country, our children, and those yet unborn, we must not, for one minute, shirk in our responsibilities to rebuild this beloved country of ours.
“Accordingly, we must forge on with the task and the mandate that we have been bestowed with. It is time, therefore, to move on with the formidable tasks of nation building ahead of us,” Abubakar said in a statement on Wednesday.
Wike’s team was reported to have pulled out of the campaign Council of the party’s presidential candidate, Abubakar after the group held a meeting early on Wednesday morning in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The group insisted that the National Chairman of the PDP, Ayu, must resign for them to rescind their decision.
They maintained that their position was not negotiable as the chairmanship of Ayu undermined the unity and constitution of the party.