A former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olabode George has support the call for party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu’s resignation.
Speaking on Friday in an interview with Arise TV’s The Morning Show, George said the reason why he made the call is to ensure balance in the party.
He added that if Ayu resigns, it will help the main opposition party convince Nigerians as the right party to vote for during next year’s election.
He said calling for Ayu’s resignation was in line with the constitution, saying the PDP chairman had himself promised to resign from his position if a northerner emerged as the party’s presidential candidate.
According to George, the present arrangement in the party which has the presidential and national chairman positions filled by persons from the north cannot continue to stand.
But explaining the rationale behind his support for Ayu’s resignation on Friday, Goerge said, “Of course, we will have one or two dissenting voices but facts are facts and fiction is fiction.
“The founding fathers of our party gathered together in 1998 and intentionally look at the problems that have beset Nigeria and came out with a suggested solution that we should divide Nigeria into six geopolitical zones because, in the First Republic, the majority tribe have their way and say. The minority tribes were just onlookers; same in the north and same in the south.
“That created bad friction that led us to all kinds of coups and countercoups and civil war and the incursion of the military into government. We took all of those into consideration and came out with a solution of dividing Nigeria into six geopolitical zones. There are six top positions in the country. The positions are the presidency, vice presidency, senate presidency, speakership, Secretary to the government, and National chairman of the party. Six zones and six positions and so every zone will go home with one of these top positions. In other words, you have removed the friction.
“And it was agreed that after every eight years, all the three top positions in the north will come down to the south and vice versa. And if you look at it right now, number one in our party is the presidency, and number six is the party chairmanship position and both cannot come from the same geopolitical zone.
“Now, here we are. Some people come into the picture and advocated that there was no need to have zoning anymore and this shocked me. In fact, the need to have zoning now is more important than in 1998/1999. Maybe some of these people don’t understand the concept that led to the thought processes of our founding fathers. Because it is an unwritten law it is being up for debate and I hope we have the opportunity to put it down in writing and everybody will be able to read it.
“Those saying they don’t believe in it (zoning) and don’t want it are saying that because they don’t understand what brought about it but I am talking because I was part of the system from the very beginning and we have a saying from my part of the world that when you have old people in any association, they (old people) always make sure they correct the mistakes of the young ones and I am trying to refer us to that concept (zoning) that was established and brought about sanity to the nation.
“Now that we are trying to manoeuvre the concept that came from us to suit certain purposes and personal ambitions, it is going to drive us to the canvass and that is what I am saying.
“We are not asking Ayu that he should be zoned out or forced to resign. We are asking for this in the sense of oneness and inclusivity for him to throw in the towel and let us balance the top positions. We are going to campaign in my zone and we want our party to win. If it is not going to affect the party, I won’t bother.
“But how do I go on the campaign trip in the South-West and tell the people that look, we are ready and you must vote for our candidate? We must realise that the opposition party has its own presidential candidate from the South-West and he (Tinubu) will tell them (voters) I have the presidential ticket, what does the PDP has on its ticket for South-West?
“Let’s assume the south has the presidential ticket, vice presidential ticket and chairmanship position, how will our PDP brothers from the north take it? Will they be happy? All I am saying is to ensure justice and fairness and if they say they don’t want it, history will be on the side of the truth.
“And if at this age I can’t tell the truth, then what am I doing in politics? It is not a matter of forcing Ayu out. Remember, Ayu himself stated and I quote him: “If the presidential candidate emerges from the north, he will resign as the chairman of the party to allow the balancing”. We are simply just saying let us be mindful and don’t let us overdrive this.”