The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party has taken another dimension with the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, saying nobody can sack him.
Ayu said this in Tiv dialect while addressing the crowd that welcomed him home in Gboko on Friday.
He also said he had the power to stop any candidate under the party, particularly in the state following the attacks on his person.
“I have been silent over all the things you are hearing against me because I don’t want any crack in the party I belong to in my state. I have the power to say, ‘you and you will not go anywhere,’ because I will insist that I must sign before you go anywhere.
“But I have signed for all candidates produced by the PDP to go ahead with their dreams; whether I like it or not, I signed. So, I was doing that believing that I cannot shoot myself in the leg. I want Benue to come first by winning all elections so that Nigerians will say that the national chairman has delivered his state to PDP with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar winning 90 per cent of the votes and Titus Uba as governor in 2023.
The governor and the national chairman, who hail from the same senatorial district have been in opposing camps within the party since its presidential primary produced Alhaji Abubakar Atiku as the party flag bearer against the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who was the choice of some governors, including Ortom.
The governor and his counterparts in Oyo, Abia and Enugu have repeatedly called for the resignation of Ayu as the party’s chairman to restore peace to the main opposition party.
Ayu’s kinsmen in the Jemgbah axis had also accused the governor of teaming up with others to pull down their son from his exalted office.
But the national chairman told the crowd of supporters that he would not resign until the day “God permits”.
“Nothing should worry you, my people. Since I started politics more than 30 years ago, you have never rejected me; you are always supporting me. They say a prophet has no respect in his home, but my case is different. I am overwhelmed by this great show of love. The PDP is one and not divided. I am trying my best not to disappoint Benue people and Nigerians in general, so if you hear that they want to chase Ayu out as national chairman, don’t be worried; nobody is going to sack me as national chairman of our party. I will leave the seat on a day that God permits.
“It is God that enthrones leadership, He uses people to enthrone a person over others and protects that person. I want to assure you that all these days, God has been protecting me even when I went on sick leave abroad, God is still protecting me.
“The Tiv people have suffered so much in this country. We have yet to get our share of the national cake, so my charge to you is not to relent in prayers so that this time around, come 2023, God will give us a President who will work closely with the governor of our state to wipe out our tears,” he added.
Ayu also allayed fears about Atiku’s ethnicity and called on people of the state to vote massively for the party.
He added, “During Senator J S Tarka’s era, God gave us a Fulani man, Alhaji Shehu Shagari. Did he fight the Tiv nation? Did he kill our people? He appointed five ministers from Benue State and the Speaker of the House of Representatives: Benjamin Chaha, Paul Unongo (Minister of Steel), Isaac Shaahu (Minister of Communications), Mrs Elizabeth Ivase (Education Minister), Audu Ogbeh, etc. Was he not a Fulani man?
“Another Fulani man, Yar’ Adua, appointed a Tiv man, Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, his Minister of Justice. Today, the flagbearer of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, who is not only a chieftaincy title holder of the Tiv people as the Zege Mule U Tiv but also my friend, told me his plans for the Tiv nation, that he will wipe away the tears of our people.
“So, nobody should try to bring any troubles to you. I am telling you today, PDP is one party. A party that has divisions does not win elections. No matter the strength of any party, if it does not have unity, it will lose elections.”