Emmanuel: PDP Crisis Festering Because People Failed to Walk the Talk

*Confident disagreements not too difficult to resolve 

*Explains party can’t ignore the aggrieved if it intends to win 2023 polls 

*We’ll stay back to fight for equity, Wike assures, promises to deliver all elective positions in the state

Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

Akwa Ibom State Governor and Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council, Udom Emmanuel, says the crisis in the party has festered because some people do not act in ways that agree with the things they say. Emmanuel, who stated this during an interactive session on national television, said the time had come for members to talk the talk and walk the walk.
The governor believed the disagreements in the main opposition party were not insoluble. But he insisted that aggrieved members could not be ignored if the party wanted to win next year’s presidential election.

Relatedly, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, whose push back against alleged betrayal by the party’s leadership during its presidential nomination is at the heart of the PDP crisis, said he would not leave PDP on account of his grievances but stay back to fight and demand equity.
Nonetheless, spokesperson of the PDP presidential campaign, Mr Charles Aniagwu, said the party’s presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, was still open to dialogue with Wike and his group.

Meanwhile, the South-west Forum of PDP Shareholders for Justice, yesterday, said the PDP national chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, would become the hero of the party’s journey to 2023 if he voluntarily resigned in the collective interest.
Wike and his associates had asked Ayu to resign in order to create some balance of power in the party between the southern and northern parts of the country.
In another development, the PDP presidential campaign organisation reacted to a statement by Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, describing him as a liar, who turns truth on its head.

Speaking during an interaction on national television, Emmanuel maintained that the PDP crisis was “not high mountains that are so difficult to climb”. He said the problem festered because some people could not keep their words.
According to him, Wike and other “dissenting voices” within the party have the right to express their views, which would not be ignored, because “This is a family business.

Emmanuel said, “Nyesom Wike is my brother, you all know that.
“One thing I discovered about politics and life: people should try to do what they say they will do; that is the cause of some of the problems. If I say I will do B, if A happens, let me keep to that. If I say I will do B if C happens, let me also keep to that.”
He explained, “It is not about mentioning people’s names; everybody has a right to express his views the way he wants. PDP is a family. I can assure you we will resolve it.”

Emmanuel, who reiterated that Wike’s dissatisfaction would not be ignored, also explained why he was not part of the meeting called by the Rivers State governor and his associates to announce their withdrawal from the party’s campaigns.
The Akwa Ibom State governor stated, “Don’t worry about that now. We sensationalise matters a whole lot. What we try to do is that we try to box individuals into our lifestyle, it cannot work like that. We are all adults. We know what is good for us; we know what is right for us.

“So, allow people to air their views but don’t also ignore people. We cannot ignore anybody if we must win elections in 2023. We cannot ignore anybody, we need to go back and carry everybody along. We are not going to ignore any dissenting voice.
“You don’t ignore issues and believe the issue will go away. This is one thing we will not ignore. We will take it head-on and resolve it.”

We’ll Stay Back in PDP to Fight for Equity, Wike Assures

Wike said no matter the disagreement with the leadership of the party, he would stay back to fight for unity, inclusivity, equity and peace in the PDP. He spoke yesterday at the Rivers State PDP stakeholders’ meeting held at Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor said as a man of character, his interest was to stay back and preserve the sanity of the party, unlike some members, who could not keep their words and walked out of the party at Eagle Square, Abuja, in 2014.

He stated, “One thing I have always told people is if anybody is thinking, doing anything to think that we will leave PDP, it’s never going to happen. We will do the fighting in the party. We are not like them, when in 2014 they walked out from Eagle Square. They’ve forgotten. They walked out and joined APC. Is it not correct?
“Did they remain to fight inside the party? But we remained, they ran away. Now, there is a fight in the party, we will not run. We will fight it in this party. Those who run away from fight are weak people. We will not. So, everybody should know this is the state where we are. So, that nobody tells you all kind of stories.”
Wike said ahead of the unveiling of the campaigns next week, “I owe this party in the state, we have 13 House of Reps seats, three senatorial seats, 32 House of Assembly seats and we have governorship post, we are going to take all for the PDP.”

He insisted that the constitution of the party clearly stated that elective and party offices must be zoned, saying this should be respected.
He wondered why the former PDP BoT chairman, Walid Jubrin, would be pressurised to resign and the PDP national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, was excusing himself from doing what was right.

According to Wike, “You have taken presidential candidate, you have taken party chairman, you have also taken the DG (director general) of the campaign. We are talking about party politics. Decisions are made by the presidential candidate, chairman of the party, and the DG of the campaign.
“They are telling you they told the chairman of the BoT to resign. So, you know there is a problem. You said he should go and resign. You can put pressure on him to resign, when his tenure hasn’t come to an end. But you cannot put pressure on the chairman to resign. You think at our level you will deceive us? You’ll tell us stories.”

The governor recalled how in 2015, the federal government allegedly used the military to invade Rivers State, interfered with and even annulled elections, but was resisted. He also recalled that he made sure the senatorial results for Rivers East were announced, which delivered Senator George Sekibo, and also that of Rivers West that produced Senator Betty Apiafi.
Wike regretted that despite the risk taken to deliver them, the same people were now in Abuja plotting against him, adding that they would not succeed because God has blessed him.

He also clarified that he never promised anybody the governorship ticket of PDP, despite the pressure some leaders mounted on him or attempts made to divide the House of Assembly. He said though he didn’t clinch the PDP presidential ticket, he gave a good account of himself at the primary.
The governor stated that by next week, the Rivers State PDP campaign team would be unveiled and the campaign pattern adopted would be based on each local government’s peculiarity.

He emphasised that all PDP candidates in the state would be returned elected by Rivers people, because they were satisfied with the performance of his administration.
He stated, “We will take all. We are taking all, because Rivers people are happy with what we have done in this state. We have not only provided infrastructure, we have also defended the interest of Rivers State.”

Wike: Atiku Still Open to Dialogue, Says Spokesman

Spokesperson of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Charles Aniagwu, said the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, was still open to dialogue with Wike and his group.

Aniagwu, who spoke on Arise Television Wednesday night, said Atiku’s reaction to the alleged boycott of the Presidential Campaign Council by Wike’s group was not a foreclosure of further reconciliation with the group and other stakeholders in the party.
He said Atiku’s call on the party to move on was a call to focus on the real issues bothering Nigerians and not necessarily meant to leave any stakeholder behind.
Aniagwu stated, “We don’t have any faction in the party; just a group with interest, which is allowed, democratically.

“As a party, we are quite comfortable that in the course of time, these issues will give way for everybody to be on board. Atiku didn’t say it’s time to move on because he wants to leave anybody behind; he is asking members of the party that it’s time for them to move on to talk about those issues that affect Nigerians.
“There are a whole lot of issues that affect us in this country and so Atiku said it’s time to move on, meaning that every hand has to be on deck to carry every Nigerian along and to address those many challenges that confront Nigerians in their everyday life today.

“Atiku is not just looking for anybody to come and vote, he is looking forward to unite every member of the party and, by extension, Nigerians so that at the end of the day, he would have been able to carry everybody along. He has asked everybody to come on board and we are quite optimistic that in the course of time, everybody will, indeed, be on board.”

South-west Stakeholders Say Ayu’ll Become Hero If He Resigns

South-west Forum of PDP Shareholders for Justice, in a statement jointly signed by its coordinators, Messrs Banji Okunomo and Gani Taofik, yesterday, in Lagos threw its weight behind the calls for Ayu’s resignation, saying it is the panacea for peace in the party.
The statement said, “We, the above-named forum of the PDP wishes to affirm our support for the position being canvassed by Makinde, corroborated by the doggedness of the ‘Wikes’ and the wisdom of the ‘Bode Georges’, as a lasting panacea for peace and eventual victory of our party at the 2023 presidential election.

“It is our take that Ayu should, indeed, go further to logically and wisely conclude the process that will guarantee the emergence of Abubakar as the next president of Nigeria, by making other possible sacrifices necessary to achieve that goal.
“Indeed, this is why and when Ayu himself will be more celebrated as PDP’s hero of democracy rather than clogging the party’s wheel of progress and creating avoidable crisis for the party.”

Party’s Presidential Campaign Replies Lai Mohammed

The PDP presidential campaign, in a statement, said while Mohammed was making a barren attempt to catalogue perceived achievements of the current All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, he did the unbelievable by claiming that the policy documents and proposals espoused by Atiku Abubakar were the version of the economic blueprint of APC.
Describing this as  “a tsunami of a lie”, the campaign council, added, “To begin with, it has been openly acknowledged that this current administration came into power without a single sheet of paper of what could be called a policy document.

“Nigerians are aware that in both 2015 and 2019, it took the APC six months and three months, respectively, to constitute a cabinet. Perhaps, the minister might be interested in telling Nigerians if it is also part of the APC manifesto to foot drag in forming a government.  
“It is on record that the first economic recession that the country experienced in 2016, which happens to be our worst economic decline in 30 years, happened primarily because the APC administration applied what can be called a catch-up strategy to the early signals of the recession.”

The council said that was why till this day, Nigerians were more agreeable to the fact that the tenure of the APC had been nothing but a sheer waste of time, all thanks to the catch-up economic strategy of the ruling party that left the people more malnourished, sick and disillusioned.  
According to the council, “The poor records of the APC in the areas of economic management, jobs creation, education, security and in virtually all spheres of our national life is the reason there is a lot of anxiety about the 2023 general election.

“Indeed, it needs to be stressed that next year’s election will be a referendum on the APC and it is not in doubt that the ruling party in Nigeria will present a global case-study of how a political party can lose popular goodwill within a short period of time.
“Nigerians are rallied in their frustration in the APC and the promise of a better future that our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, holds for the country after his victory in the 2023 presidential election.”

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