The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyorchia Ayu, has rejected calls to sanction Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State over the crisis rocking the opposition party.
Naija News reports that the PDP has been dealing with an internal crisis following the party’s presidential primary, which Wike lost to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The crisis went deeper after Atiku snubbed the Rivers State Governor to pick Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as his running mate.
Recall that Wike, who had remained silent on issues affecting the PDP, had told journalists that Atiku told many lies during an interview on Arise TV.
Meanwhile, during a meeting of the National Working Committee with former National Publicity Secretaries, Zonal/ States Publicity Secretaries, and other stakeholders at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Thursday, the former officials had called for the governor to be sanctioned, arguing that refusal to do this would breed indiscipline in the party.
Responding, Senator Ayu stated that rather than discipline Wike, the party would focus on uniting its members.
According to the PDP chairman, all efforts and resources would be channeled towards peace and unity instead of punishing people.
A source at the meeting told The PUNCH, “After the meeting went into a closed-door session, some of the former officers called for sanction to be imposed on Wike because of his utterances. They said he didn’t respect the party’s leadership and its presidential candidate, among other things.
“They even accused the National Publicity Secretary (Debo Ologunagba) of not doing enough to address the issues in his interviews and press releases, but Ayu told them to be patient. The chairman said this is not the time to discipline, expel or quarrel with anyone. Rather, he said this is the time to build, unite and tolerate one another.
“He said he could feel the pulse of those agitating for discipline to be meted out to the governor, but insisted that Wike is a formidable member of the party. He appealed to them to be patient and that the governor would support Atiku and the party.”
In the communiqué released to reporters after the meeting by Ologunagba, he said the former and serving spokespersons for the party passed a vote of confidence on Ayu and the NWC.
He said they also backed Atiku to rescue, redirect and rebuild this country to meet the aspirations of Nigerians and “earn the respect of the international community.”