Chief Edwin Clark, elder statesman and leader of the Ijaw nation, has described Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as a thoughtless and partial leader and has asked him to resign as soon as possible.
Clark, who claimed Ayu could not hide his biases when he paid a “thank you” visit to Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, describing him as the “hero of the convention,” also claimed that the Sokoto governor’s decision to step down for the winner of the presidential primaries, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, was arranged and thus dishonourable and tragic betrayal.
Clark, the leader of the Southern, Middle Belt Leaders Forum, and Pan Niger Delta Forum, said Mr. Peter Obi’s decision to leave the PDP and withdraw from the presidential primaries was well-thought out and vindicated the presidential candidate.
Clark said in a statement signed by him yesterday in Abuja that the outcome of the PDP’s primary election made it necessary for Ayu to resign, saying he could no longer lead the PDP’s National Working Committee.
Clark slammed Tambuwal’s actions, claiming that they were not only dishonorable, but also a serious electoral anomaly and a tragic betrayal of national patriotism for self-serving interests.
The former Federal Information Minister condemned the reported outrageous financial inducements of delegates and the alleged dollarization of the electoral process, saying it was an indication of more likely, negative outcomes of the 2023 general election, particularly the presidential election and its aftermath.
Clark, on the other hand, praised the Convention Committee, which was chaired by former Senate President, Senator David Mark, and his assistants, particularly the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri.
“Most disturbing is what occurred at the PDP’s Special National Convention in Abuja on Saturday, May 28, 2022.” I was glued to the live broadcasts of the proceedings until about 12.30 a.m. on Sunday, May 29th.
“I was alarmed by the outrageous and Machiavellian manner in which Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, Governor of Sokoto State, announced his withdrawal from the contest at the last minute; his speech changed the mood of the event.”
“This was done to impose another northerner as the party’s flag bearer, given that Governor Aminu Tambuwal was the only aspirant from the entire north-west, which had about 192 delegates at the convention.”
“What Tambuwal did was not only dishonorable, but it was also a serious electoral anomaly and a tragic betrayal of national patriotism for self-serving interests.”
“It is now widely understood that there were pressures mounted on Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed and former Senate President Senator Bukola Saraki to also withdraw, while Tambuwal purposefully delayed his action until the last minute.” By doing so, he unfairly swept his northwestern votes to Atiku Abubakar.
“One can now understand Mr. Peter Obi’s reasons for leaving the PDP, both as a member and as an aspirant, just days before the party’s primary.” And I believe that what he did was done in deference or obedience to the position of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum.
“Unfortunately, some southern aspirants believed that, with the resources and facilities at their disposal, their Elders no longer mattered, and disregarded, with impunity, patriotic advice on the need to be steadfast on the position of the presidency’s zoning to the south.”
“They never seemed to mind that what we were advocating was in their best interests.” They proved to be selfish and arrogant, believing they could win on their own. They failed; I can only hope they’ve learned their lesson.
“In the extreme, the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, paid an open visit to Governor Tambuwal to congratulate and hail him, in his words, as ‘the hero of the Convention.’
“This clearly demonstrates his bias and preference in the processes that led to the perplexing conclusion of the PDP Presidential Primary.” Senator Ayu has failed to recognize that what we are fighting for affects all Nigerian minorities. Senator Iyorchia Ayu’s heinous, careless, and unpatriotic public behavior has serious consequences.
“As a result, he should no longer consider himself fit and proper to continue as National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and should resign immediately.”