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Wike dares Ayu to bar Ortom, other PDP candidates from 2023 elections

By Ann Godwin (Port Harcourt) and Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan)
31 October 2022   |   4:07 am
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has dared National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, to stop Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, and other party candidates from contesting the 2023 elections.

FILES] Wike.<br />Photo/facebook/GovernorNyesomEzenwoWikeCON

Why embattled national chairman must go, by party chieftain
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has dared National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, to stop Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, and other party candidates from contesting the 2023 elections.

Wike threw the challenge few hours after Ayu threatened he has power to stop Ortom from realising his senatorial ambition on the PDP platform.

Speaking at his private residence in Rumuepirikom Community in Obio-Akpor Council, yesterday, Wike said: “I want to dare Ayu to stop any PDP candidate. He knows he has no power, and he cannot do that. He is just playing to the gallery.

“I dare him to stop any contestant, if he has what it takes. It’s only in this country a man who is perceived as very corrupt will not care. Look at what happened in Britain.”

Wike said Ortom took a risk by helping Ayu rise to his current position and expressed surprise that the PDP chairman could turn around to attack the Benue governor.

He said: “I heard when he (Ayu) said he would have stopped Ortom from running. See how ungrateful human beings are. This was the same Governor Ortom that pleaded and supported him.

“Ortom said, ‘I can take the risk; let him (Ayu) become the national chairman.’ Now, he wants to stop the man who brought him to power, who guaranteed him. He now says he can stop him. That is the corruption we are talking about.

“He has come into office, he has seen money and power; now, he can open his mouth and say, if he wants to stop Ortom, he could. And he said he could stop any contestants if he wants. Let him try it and see.”

ALSO, a PDP chieftain in Oyo State, Dare Adeleke, insisted Ayu has no authority under the constitution to stop any candidate from running for office.

Adeleke, who was also reacting to Ayu’s statement that he has power to stop Ortom’s ambition and that of other candidates, said Ayu has descended into daydreaming.

In an interview with journalists in Ibadan, Adeleke, who is also Executive Chairman, Oyo Pacesetters Transport Company, said: “I dare Ayu to try such a move. He has become a narcissistic autocrat who now indulges in hallucinatory images of false grandeur from a post that he should not be occupying.

“Ayu does not have any right under the party’s constitution to stop any candidate with a mere signature, as he boasted.

“It would seem that the northern dominance is truly the agenda, going by these hubristic utterances from someone who should be forging unity in the party, especially with the general elections so close.

“What we are demanding is justice, equity and fairness; the presidential candidate and the national chairman cannot come from the same zone, and we remain consistent in our demand that Ayu must go!”