Olisa Metuh, a former national publicity secretary for the Peoples Democratic Party, has expressed that those pushing for the removal of Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, the party’s national chairman, do not have the party’s best interests at heart.
Metuh, a PDP National Executive Committee member, also alleged that Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, his counterpart from Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, Bode George, and others who left the party’s Presidential Campaign Council plotted to sabotage Atiku Abubakar in order to gain control of the party.
Metuh, in an interview with Saturday Punch, stated that those calling for Ayu’s removal on the premise that he was a northerner like Atiku, needed to take a trip down memory lane to revisit the history of the party.
In his words, “Whoever is thinking of the control of the party at this stage is on a misplaced mission because it is an attempt to struggle for the leadership of the party.
“In 2007, the then presidential candidate of the party, Umaru Yar’Adua, ran with a national chairman from the North, Ahmadu Ali, but the South did not make any demand. In 2010, the then acting President, Goodluck Jonathan, had a Board of Trustees chairman from the South, Tony Anenih, and a national chairman from the South, Vincent Ogbulafor. So, what is the problem today?
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“While we acknowledge the fact that these aggrieved party chieftains are very important stakeholders, they supervised the election of Ayu and in fact, celebrated it. Most of them even made the point that Ayu was the best thing to have happened to the PDP.
“What has changed? Is there an agenda they are pursuing? What do they want?” he asked, even as he appealed to the pro-Wike group to give peace a chance.
“Nobody is saying that what they are demanding is right or wrong. What we need now is a doctrine of necessity to protect and strengthen the PDP for the task ahead,” he added.
Metuh singled out the former deputy national chairman of the PDP, Bode George, for blame for spearheading what he called “plot to destabilise our party,” saying, “In 2006 with a President from the South, Olusegun Obasanjo about to complete his tenure, George spoke at a conference, calling for another southerner to succeed him.”
He continued, “George was the person who organised the move to remove Atiku from the NEC of the party. He did this in 2005.
“I supported him to be the chairman of the party in 2017 against Uche Secondus. If he was denied the chairmanship of the party in 2017, did he protest? In this era, the chairmanship ought to go to the South-West, but North-Central took it. If this is about the South, why did he not complain when Ayu from the North-Central won his seat in May?”
According to the ex-PDP spokesman, the plot against Ayu is being promoted “because Atiku is the presidential candidate of the party,” he said.