By Elempe Dele, Edo.
A former PDP Publicity Secretary in Edo State and former Presidential Committee member on Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Niger-Delta, former Chairman of Edo State Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution, immediate past member South-South PDP Exco, Prince Francis Omo-Osunde Iyasere, has called on the PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, to retrain himself from making inflammatory comments.
He made this observation in a phone call discussion with our Abuja correspondent, Comrade Elempe Dele, on Monday morning.
“I wish to advise the PDP National Chairman, Senator Ayu, from making inflammatory comments concerning the lingering crisis in PDP. Even the ruling party has its own share of crisis but we don’t see the national chairman making categorical statements because he is charged with, among others, the responsibility to settle crisis within the party no matter what his personal opinions are.
Without being glib, I must confess that Senator Ayu was among those who started this crisis in this party and must as a matter of urgency, recourse himself from any further public statement capable of furthering the crisis.
His going to meet Governor Tambuwal immediately after the presidential primaries and calling him the ‘hero of the convention’ was a totally unacceptable public show coming from the chairman. It went to show he was not an arbiter, or a fair umpire.
Yes, we can condemn others for igniting the crisis in the party using this as an excuse, but it was a big mistake for Senator Ayu to give away his position openly and so cheaply.
“Recently, I was reading how Senator Ayu, now known as the stiff-necked PDP Chairman, said, ‘Nobody can remove me as the Chairman.’ He went further to claim he had the power to stop ambitions of some members of the Party who are opposed to him.
These are uncomplementary statements tilting towards autocracy coming from the national chairman, I must confess. Even if he has to sign before candidates in PDP can go ahead with their ambitions, he is not an authoritarian or sole administrator as the chairman. The NEC is there and the NWC is there also.
“Is there anything Senator Ayu knows that we don’t know? Does he want PDP to loose the presidential election and other elections? Is he not giving his critics some lifeline by acting the way they too are acting? What exactly is the sit-tight about we don’t know? For peace to reign in Edo State PDP then, for example, during the crisis between the Late Chief Anthony Anenih faction and that of Late Samuel Ogbemudia, I had to sacrifice my second term ambition to return to the South South Executive Committee representing Edo State.
Equally, some national chairmen of our dear party had left the position to allow for peace and unity in the party.
So what exactly is different now expecially when Senator Ayu himself was the one who said he will resign if the PDP presidential ticket went to the north. Why couldn’t he sacrifice immediately after the presidential ticket went to the north to save the party from electoral humiliation in the coming election?
“Today, on his account, the party is deeply factionalized in states and these factions are using his continuous stay as an excuse from staying away from the party at the national level. Instead of him to be pragmatic in ensuring peace in the Party at all cost, he is making unnecessary inflammatory statements capable of opening the fault lines within the Party.
“He once said he is one of the founding fathers of the Party, why can’t he live up to that exalted level of expectation? Does he need to be exchanging words, making inflammatory comments to further fuel the crisis knowing full well there will be responses from the aggrieved leaders and members?
“I will advise Senator Ayu takes time off for reflections and retrospections: if PDP looses this election, he should be rest assured that he will be solely responsible for the defeat.
Senator Ayu must unblock his phone lines so that leaders of the Party with genuine passion would be able to continue to tell him the gospel truth.
The most dangerous thing any leader can face is to only be listening to yesmen, while his communication channel is blocked from those who can tell him what need to be done without fear or favour.
“I urge all aggrieved leaders and members to shealth their swords for the interest of the Party because we need each other.”