Publicity secretaries of the Peoples Democratic Party in the five South West states have said that the party cannot afford to appear unserious ahead of the 2023 general election.
They spoke against the backdrop of the demand for the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorcha Ayu.
The demand was made by some leader of the party in the South West Zone, led by the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.
Kennedy Peretei, the spokesman for the group and Ondo State PDP Publicity Secretary, spoke to newsmen after a meeting at the party’s secretariat in Lagos on Saturday.
Peretei said” “On behalf of the leadership of the PDP state chapters in Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Ekiti and Lagos states, we the publicity secretaries in these states dissociate ourselves from calls for the resignation of Dr Iyorchia Ayu as PDP National Chairman.
“We wish to affirm our faithfulness to the PDP constitution which clearly stipulates the procedure for leadership election and removal.
“As the only political party that has not changed name or logo since its establishment in 1998, the party cannot afford to appear unserious.
“We do not see any justification for the resignation of our national chairman, especially at this very critical stage of preparation for elections.”
According to Peretei, Ayu was duly elected at a properly-constituted PDP national convention with a four-year mandate.
He added that Ayu recently received a vote of confidence from the PDP National Executive Committee at its 97th meeting in Abuja.
He said that PDP had championed the sanctity of its 2017 Constitution (as amended).
Peretei added: “We must therefore do everything to maintain this sanctity.
“Any action that undermines the spirit of the party’s constitution at this crucial stage can only be considered a deliberate attempt to sabotage the party’s efforts at winning in the coming general elections
“We appeal to the leadership of our party in the South West to work together to respect the constitution of our party.
“If we cannot respect our own rules, guidelines and constitution as a party, how will Nigerians trust us to respect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria when voted into the office.”
According to Peretei, the concern of PDP’s zonal leaders and their determination to protect the interest of members against any form of marginalisation are deeply appreciated.
The spokesman, however, said the focus should be directed mainly at encouraging PDP members to rally round the party’s candidates for various elective positions and ensure their victory.
“The leadership of the party in the aforementioned states pledge our unwavering support and unalloyed commitment to our presidential candidate, a former Vice-President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and his running mate, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting was attended by Hakeem Amode, Raphael Adeyanju and Bankole Akinloye, PDP spokespersons for Lagos, Ekiti and Ogun States respectively.
NAN reports that Makinde and some PDP leaders in the zone on Wednesday called for Ayu’s resignation at the zone’s stakeholders’ meeting with Abubakar.