A former presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze has said that Ndigbo of the South East within the PDP should be aggrieved more than the Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike and any other political block within the party in the Southern region.
While insisting that the PDP had not been fair to the South East, he said the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, should save the party at this critical time by stepping aside from office.
Anakwenze, a United States-based surgeon said Ayu should make the sacrifice if that would be the only condition to prevent disintegration in PDP.
He made the appeal in a statement by the Director General of his campaign organisation, Eric Oluwole, obtained by journalists on Saturday.
While describing Ayu as an eminent elder statesman of no mean status, he observed that there was no sacrifice too big to make in the overall interest of the party and the country.
Anakwenze said that the aggrieved governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, who is insisting on Ayu’s resignation for a Southerner to take over to ensure balance, has his own valid points on which he could not be faulted.
He said: “I could remember during my visit to Ayu and other National Working Committee members during my campaign period. He showed me love and advised me as a good leader and I regarded him so much. Ayu noted for his patriotic zeal in the nation’s political circles, will not want the house he helped to build to collapse before his own eyes a few days away from a resounding victory for the PDP in the February 25, 2023, presidential election.
“At this point, Ndigbo within the PDP are supposed to be more aggrieved than Wike. What we were pleading for then within the party is zoning. That was why I contested along with my brothers including Sam Ohuabunwa, Pius Anyim, Peter Obi and two others.
“We can’t blame Wike. He is right in what he is fighting for – balance and justice for the South and for the North as well. It should be recalled that Obi, in frustration, left the party for the Labour Party because he believed that Ndigbo cannot be President on the platform of the PDP with the conditions prevailing now. But I choose to still remain in the party because of the interest I have in the party.
“Therefore, if Southern PDP stakeholders are calling Ayu to resign as solution to the crisis within the party, I think I have to appeal to him as a leader of our party, who has a good record, to do so, because of the overall interest and future of the party; and I know that he is going to be an hero if he does so.”
Anakwenze stated that the most important thing was for the PDP to win the February 25 presidential election.
He warned that the suffering and helpless Nigerians, who have been highly expectant and praying passionately that a new PDP President was coming in to salvage them from their worsening daily agonies inflicted on them through the abysmal failure of the party in power, would not forgive the party “if, by our inability to put our house in order, we allowed the ruling party to retain power, which it has woefully mismanaged in the last eight years.”
Anakwenze said, “I always believe that our leader, the former Vice President and our presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, will find solution to the crisis, along with our party leaders across board.
“The lingering crisis within the party deepened with the pull-out from the PDP Presidential Campaign by the Wike group, which insisted that Ayu must resign from office to ensure balance in the party’s leadership composition as the two most powerful positions within the party, the presidential candidate and national chairman, are occupied by persons from the same Northern political region to the exclusion of the South.
“On their own, the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and national chairman maintained that Ayu could only vacate office on completion of his four-year term in line with the party’s constitution.
Anakwenze maintained that no sacrifice is too big to ensure that the PDP goes into the coming electoral battle, as a united and most formidable force to rescue Nigeria
He said, “I am sure that the eminent Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, one of Nigeria’s most credible, foremost elders statesmen and founding fathers of the PDP, who is highly respected nationwide as a builder and administrator, will not want the house he helped to build to collapse before his own eyes.
“And I believe strongly that he will not consider any sacrifice, which indeed will turn him to a national hero, too big to make in the overall interest of our party and dear country Nigeria, if his resignation is the only condition to prevent the PDP from breaking apart, few steps away from being handed a bigger victory, the highly prized Presidency of Nigeria!
“The victory that will mean so much to him, that will rescue Nigeria from the precipice, that will reward him so much, that will be in the interest our great party and the good people of our great country Nigeria!”