Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Wednesday insisted that Dr Iyorchia Ayu, the National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), must step down to allow Southerners in the top hierarchy of the party.
Makinde made the position of South-West leaders of the party known at the zonal stakeholders’ meeting held at the Prof. Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
According to him, PDP is talking about unifying the country, talking toward the government of national unity.
“Well, the issue is that we must practice what we preach. If we want to unify Nigeria, we must unify PDP first.
“If we want government of national unity, the faces in PDP must reflect national unity.
“If we want to restructure Nigeria, we must have the willingness to do what is right to bring inclusivity into PDP.
“The message from the South-West PDP is that the National Working Committee of the PDP should be restructured.
“We are asking the National Chairman to step down so that the South will be fully included. That is the message,” Makinde said.
In his remarks, Abubakar Atiku, the Presidential candidate of PDP, said he was in Ibadan to interact with all the party stakeholders on the preparations toward 2023 elections.
Atiku urged the South-West leaders of the party to remain focus and work toward the party’s victory in the coming elections.
On the issue of the national chairmanship, Atiku said: “Overtime, PDP has developed its Constitution as regards party’s electoral processes, zoning of offices, power sharing, among others, which will bring about unity of the party and the country.
“Therefore, the request of Gov. Makinde is achievable under our party’s Constitution, rules, regulations and procedures.
“So, the party’s Constitution must guide us on whatever changes we make.”
Earlier, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, the Vice Presidential candidate of PDP, urged members of the party in South-West to be more united and work toward the success of the party in the 2023 general elections.
Okowa, also the Governor of Delta, said that PDP was well prepared to take over power from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to him, the country is facing various challenges under the APC-led government.
He described the PDP presidential candidate as “an experienced and quality leader who is capable of leading the country well”.
Okowa, also urged the people to go into the election with one love and determination to win the poll.
Among the dignitaries on Atiku’s entourage were former Governors of Niger, Babangida Aliyu; Osun, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko and Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti.