Journalism of Courage

Wike-Ayu faceoff: Ortom ‘betrays’ close ally, Wike, kicks against Ayu’s removal

…Says it’s impossible to advocate the removal of someone he helped appoint


As the face-off between Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, the National Chairman of the PDP festers, the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has refuted claims that he is backing Ayu’s resignation.

In an unexpected departure from his close friend, Wike, Ortom said it is impossible for him to advocate the removal of someone he helped to appoint, as he reiterated his belief that Ayu can lead the party to victory in the 2023 general elections.

The governor’s statement is coming in reaction to accusations by a group, Jemgbagh Development Association, that he was involved in the moves against the PDP national chairman, a fellow Benue man.

Persecondnews reports that Wike and some aggrieved PDP stakeholders have continued to mount pressure on the party’s Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to persuade Ayu to resign and allow a Southerner to occupy the PDP chairmanship post.

Ortom, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, said it was an open secret that he ‘’worked tirelessly, alongside other prominent Benue citizens, to ensure that Ayu was elected as the National Chairman of our great party even against all odds.”

The Benue governor maintained that with the backing of many leaders of the PDP, who believed his sense of judgment, they worked relentlessly in the run up to the party’s national convention to market Ayu as having the requisite capacity to lead PDP, especially, in the 2023 general election.

The statement reads: “Governor Ortom vouched for the integrity and capacity of Dr. Iyorchia Ayu to lead and rebuild the PDP to victory and rescue Nigeria from the misrule of the APC maladministration. That is why Ayu was returned unopposed by the northern caucus of the party and got elected as the national chairman of the PDP at the party’s convention.

“Where was Jemgbagh Development Association, when Governor Ortom galvanised support from across the leaders of the party to make Dr. Ayu PDP’s National Chairman? What was their contribution to that project that they now want to use clannish stance to blackmail the governor?”

Meanwhile, Persecondnews gathered that the number of those demanding Ayu’s removal as the PDP National Chairman has increased exponentially with eight out of the 13 PDP governors giving it a nod.

However, the Governors of Sokoto, Taraba, Edo, Bayelsa, and Delta states have remained supportive of Ayu’s continuation as the national chairman.

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