Nyesom Wike, the Governor of Rivers State, on Friday bore his mind on some of the reasons he wanted Iyorcha Ayu, the national chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), out of office, describing him as being corrupt.
“Ayu is corrupt. Quote me. I am a lawyer, and I am the governor of Rivers State. Ayu collected N1 billion in Lagos,” Wike said in Port Harcourt during a live interview aired by Channels Television.
“He told one of the PDP presidential aspirants before the primaries that the governors were not ready to fund the party.”
"We are not fighting again, we have agreed that the candidate should be from the North but bring the Chairman from the south and you're saying 'No'! Where's the inclusivity?"#WikeMediaChat pic.twitter.com/SzlbeVrMlD
— Channels Television (@channelstv) September 23, 2022
“I know how the money was arranged and those involved in packaging the money. He collected the N1 billion. Let him come out to tell Nigerians it is not true, and I will reveal more.”
Wike, one of the presidential aspirants, stated that Ayu manipulated the process.
The governor accused the national chairman of lobbying other presidential aspirants to step down for the eventual winner, Atiku Abubakar.
Wike stated that the opposition PDP is not serious about winning the 2023 Presidency with its arrogance.
Speaking on the crisis in the party, the governor said the main opposition party ignorantly planted a seed of discord by leaving the presidential ticket open for all to contest.
“Those who thought they are too powerful, highly connected, and that they own the party said there should be no zoning of the presidential ticket – ‘leave it open and let the best candidate emerge’ – because they think they have the numbers,” he said.
“We jettisoned our constitution not knowing that we are laying the foundation, the seed of discord in the future.”
The leadership crisis in the PDP started shortly after the party’s primaries in which Atiku Abubakar emerged as the presidential candidate of the party.
According to the governor of Rivers State, Atiku’s emergence was against the zoning agreement in the party, which had ceded the presidency to the south before the primaries.
Atiku polled 371 votes ahead of Wike, who scored 237 to come second in the party’s presidential primary. Former Senate President Bukola Saraki (70); Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel (38), Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed (38), Former Senate President Pius Anyim (14), Mrs Tari Diana Oliver (One), and Mr Sam Ohuabunwa (1) shared the remainder of the valid votes.
Weeks after the primary was held, the PDP presidential candidate named Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as his running mate.
While Governor Wike said he had accepted the outcome of the primary in good faith, he insisted that Senator Iyorchia Ayu must resign as the party’s national chairman for equity since a northern presidential candidate has emerged.
But he has insisted that since the north has taken the presidency, the position of the national chairman should come to the south.
“We are not fighting again, we have agreed that the candidate should be from the North but bring the Chairman from the south, and you’re saying ‘No’! Where’s the inclusivity?”