The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has revealed that its embattled National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, can only be removed through a mini-convention.
Members of the PDP that spoke with The PUNCH, however, stated that it was not considering such a move because it is focused on its preparations for the campaign scheduled to begin on September 28, 2022.
Recall that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Chief Olabode George, and many others on Wednesday pulled out of the Presidential Campaign of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, insisting that Ayu must resign before they can back the PDP Presidential Ticket.
However, the PDP’s National Legal Adviser, Kamaldeen Ajibade (SAN), and the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, have both dismissed plans to organize a mini-convention to remove Ayu before the campaign starts on September 28.
Ajibade stated that there was no time to remove the PDP chairman, claiming that the crisis in the party could worsen if Ayu stepped down as he would still be replaced by someone from his geo-political zone.
He said, “Nobody says it’s not achievable, but at least you know it’s constitutional. You know that going by our constitution, going by article 47/ 6, if Ayu steps down, somebody from his zone is coming to step in and that person has to be the national vice chairman, north and it will even be worse if the national vice chairman were to step in as the deputy national vice chairman, north is from the same zone with the candidate himself.
“On what Chief Bode George said, maybe you need to ask him how it is possible before 28 September because if he has a way that it can be achieved, that will require a mini-convention, where offices have to be swapped. The mini-convention will not be possible before September 28.”
Naija News understands that the PDP National Legal Adviser however admitted that the party’s National Executive Committee could affect Ayu’s removal.
Ajibade said: “But in my own opinion if the NEC chooses at all costs to make it possible, that will be achieved. Nobody will hold anybody. Considering the circumstances surrounding the timeframe between now and September 28, I really doubt if it is achievable. But as the legal adviser, I don’t know how to achieve that. They are talking of balancing; is that not right?”
He stated that the PDP will correct its crisis and change the national chairman if it wins the 2023 presidential election.
On his part, the PDP Publicity Secretary stated that the mini-convention proposal could only be discussed if it was presented before the party.
He said, “The proposal of a mini-convention has not come before the party. The legal adviser spoke from the perspective of the law. He was saying that should the party decide to do a mini-convention to determine the fate of Ayu, it would be in order.
“Because we don’t have such a proposal, we can’t be commenting as this will amount to speaking on speculation. Of course, the party can decide this at a convention but other considerations must be put in place. Is it expedient? Is it politically wise? Whatever decision the party takes, there are various organs to discuss whether this is acceptable or not.”