Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike said he knows why the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, is “arrogant” against the “demand” of some members of the party.
Mr Ayu has been under pressure from a group of governors and some former governors of the party led by Mr Wike, to step down for a southerner to take over his position.
But the national chairman has refused to resign, insisting he was elected for a four-year tenure. His position was further boosted on Thursday as members of the party’s National Executive Committee passed a vote of confidence on the former Benue Senator.
Speaking on Thursday while commissioning a Campus of the Rivers State University in the Ahoada East Local Government Area of the state disclosed why the national chairman was “arrogant” – refusing to resign.
Mr Wike also rejected the resignation of Walid Jibrin as chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BOT).
“We’ve never zoned BOT. It (BOT) is an advisory body not a decision making body. Those who run the party as of today are the chairman and the presidential candidate of the party.
“They are those who will sit down and take decisions. The candidate is from the north and the (party) chairman is (also) from the north, who will represent the south in decision making?
“Look at the insult, you’ve told the BOT chairman to resign. You now agree with us that these things cannot be in one place but the position we’re talking about which we all agreed is the (national) chairman of the party.
“Why are they being arrogant, I can tell you, is because they believe somebody in the Presidency is backing them.
“But what they don’t understand is that the same person in the presidency backed somebody as APC presidential aspirant and the person failed. I will tell Nigerians at appropriate time who’s that person in the presidency that is backing them that they are being arrogant.”
Mr Wike vowed to continue “fighting” the “injustice” in the party which he said was enough.
Mr Wike’s group had been complaining about the “imbalance” in the PDP leadership as Mr Ayu and the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, and the heads of major organs of the party are all from the north.
But Mr Ayu had in a BBC interview described those calling for his resignation as “children.”
“When we started the PDP, we did not know these boys, they are children, they don’t know how we founded the party. We will not agree with one person to come and destroy our party.”
The PDP has been enmeshed in crisis after the party’s presidential primary last year.
Messrs Wike and Atiku have been at loggerheads after the presidential primary where the former Vice President defeated the Rivers governor.
The feud further deepened after Mr Atiku ignored the PDP committee’s recommendation of Mr Wike as the party’s vice presidential candidate.
The crisis rocking the party, however, entered a different phase when a group of party members led by Mr Wike, demanded the resignation of the party’s national chairman to correct what they described as “imbalance” in the party leadership structure.