Mr Charles Aniagwu, Spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, says sacking the party National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, would have deepened the party’s crisis.
Aniagwu stated this on Saturday in a Television programme monitored in Asaba, while giving reasons the PDP was exploring other options toward resolving its current crisis.
He said that as a listening party, the PDP was taking a second look at the issues based on what was permissible by the laws of the party.
Aniagwu said that sacking Ayu would create constitutional crisis for the party which would snowball into greater problems than what the party was currently facing.
According to him, the suggestion that the National Chairman must step down has been overtaken by events following the vote of confidence by the National Executive Committee (NEC).
“People may misinterpret it to mean calling the bluff of certain stakeholders but that is far from it because the party leadership examined the issues vis-a-vis the provisions of the party’s constitution as amended in 2017.
“When you look at that constitution, there are principal officers called the National Working Committee led by the National Chairman. In the order of hierarchy, the Deputy National Chairman, who must also come from same zone with the National Chairman, is next in line.
“The third in line is the National Secretary; when you look at these positions, the National Chairman is from the North, the second in command is also from the North by virtue of the provision of the party’s constitution.
“In section 45 of the party’s constitution, in the event of removal or resignation of the National Chairman, the National Deputy Chairman takes over and acts in that position pending when the party is able to organise another election.
“Alternatively, the party will convene a NEC meeting where it will take a decision as to how to rearrange the hierarchy of the party,” he said.
Aniagwu added that because the offices were elective positions, even if Ayu were to step down so that the National Chairmanship seat is conceded to the South, the provisions of the constitution of the party would also be offended.
“A southerner can only become National Chairman if we also removed the Deputy National Chairman of the party who the lot immediately falls on, by provisions of the law.
“Even if the party is able to solve that puzzle by bringing both National Chairman and Deputy to South, the third person in the hierarchy of the National Working Committee of the party is the National Secretary – Sen. Samuel Anyanwu from Imo.
“Now, if you decide to bring these two positions to the South, have you also made arrangements to take the National Secretary to the North?
“Because of these legal impediments, the party, after examining it, felt that given the time, which is just about six months to the general elections, that it may likely snowball into some form of crisis within the party.
“The party felt that if we proceeded to make these changes, that there is the tendency that we could dive into a crisis worse than the one we are seeing at the moment.
“The leadership of the party is intelligent enough and I am happy that Governor Nyesom Wike and other leaders appreciate the need for the party to move as a whole into the 2023 general elections,” he said.
He said that the party adopted possible options which led to the resignation of Sen. Walid Jibrin and the emergence of Sen. Adolphus Wagbara as Chairman, Board of Trustees.
“The emergence of Wagbara in the south to join the Vice presidential candidate and National Secretary had created some form of balance in the interim.
“But what is most important is that there is a bigger elephant here which is winning the 2023 general elections because Nigerians are looking up to the PDP to rescue the nation from where we are at the moment.
“I am convinced that our leaders, who have been craving for these changes, will appreciate the fact that the party is listening.
” But, because of time, probably when the party may have won the elections in 2023, by the grace of God, we can then proceed to make some of these alterations that may not be injurious to our quest to win the general elections,” Aniagwu said.