Dele Momodu, veteran journalist and chieftain of the PDP, has said the camp of Nyesom Wike, Rivers State governor, is putting unnecessary pressure on Atiku Abubakar, the party’s presidential candidate over Iyorchia Ayu.
The PDP has been in turmoil since May when Atiku Abubakar was elected as the presidential candidate of the party.
Wike, whom many thought would be chosen as the party’s vice-presidential candidate, was ignored by Atiku who picked Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta, as his running mate.
The Rivers governor’s allies, who include Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo; Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue; Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State governor; Jerry Gana, former minister of information, among others, are insisting that Ayu, the party’s national chairman, must resign as a condition for peace in the party.
On Wednesday, Wike’s allies announced they will not be participating in the PDP’s presidential campaign unless the party’s national chairman is removed.
But speaking on Arise TV on Thursday, Momodu said that Atiku cannot unilaterally remove Ayu.
The PDP chieftain said, “My own worry is that we seem to be putting so much pressure on Alhaji Atiku Abubakar like he can unilaterally remove the chairman of the party. Even If he (Atiku) should do that, a lot of us will feel vilified. He cannot do it (remove Ayu) and all he can do is speak with Dr. Ayu and we don’t know what is going on between all of them.”
Momodu said those calling on Atiku to unilaterally remove the party’s embattled chairman were being unfair to the former vice president.
“I know nobody will want to be seen in that light. Like anytime Governor Wike says you must go, you must go. It is a psychological thing as well for the party. It doesn’t work that way. Some of these things we have discussed privately with some of our party members and we believe that nobody should attempt to make our candidate look so weak or like someone that just can be pushed around.
“I mean, can I go to Governor Wike’s state and just tell him to go and sack the state’s party chairman? He doesn’t have the power to do so. It can’t happen. So, that is my position,” he said.
Speaking further, Momodu, noted that it would amount to political suicide for Wike and his allies to leave the PDP.
According to him, the decision will not bode well for them because “they have so much at stake”.
“I want to publicly appeal to them again. If they decide to go, it’s within their rights. Nobody can stop any grown man from making a decision,” Momodu said.
“If their decision is to throw their support behind a candidate of another party, it is fine. But honestly, this my opinion, it will be political suicide. That’s the truth because they have so much at stake.
“Will Governor Seyi Makinde [of Oyo state] say ‘during the presidential election, don’t vote for PDP; during the governorship, vote for me.’ It does not work that way.”