Ahead of the meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Executive Committee (NEC) scheduled for Thursday in Abuja, the NEC members are divided over the clamour for the removal of the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu.
While some NEC members from the South argued that Ayu’s removal was the only way out of the lingering crisis confronting the party, the chairman’s supporters said Ayu would not step aside at this critical time when the PDP was preparing for election.
The opposition party had been engulfed in a crisis since a former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar emerged as its presidential candidate.
The loyalists of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike had been demanding Ayu’s resignation, stating that the presidential candidate should not hail from the same region as the party chairman; and the Board of Trustees chairman.
Though the PDP set up a panel to resolve the crisis, Wike, supported by three other governors, had continued to insist on Ayu’s removal.
Resisting the pressure to leave office, the party chair vowed to stay till the end of his four-year tenure.
He also dismissed those demanding his removal as youngsters who had little knowledge about the formation of the PDP.
Reinforcing their demand in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Oyo State, Mr .Akeem Olatunji, stressed that Ayu’s removal would facilitate Atiku’s electoral victory.