The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign organisation has dismissed a claim by Chinemerem Madu, a chieftain of the party, that some high-profile members have been paid to work against the presidential bid of Atiku Abubakar.
In a statement on Wednesday, Madu, a member of the PDP national executive committee (NEC), had said there are plans to “orchestrate a heavily funded press conference to be addressed by select NEC members seemingly calling for the resignation of the national chairman, Sen. Dr Iyorchia Ayu, but actually targeted at frustrating the Atiku Abubakar presidential bid”.
The development comes amid the crisis in the party, with Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, and his allies asking Ayu to step down on the grounds that the party’s presidential candidate and national chairman cannot be from the same region.
Responding in a statement, Daniel Bwala, spokesman of the Atiku/Okowa campaign organisation, dismissed the claim, adding that the party is focused on its presidential campaign and won’t be bothered with “unnecessary distraction or drama”.
“Our attention has been drawn to a press statement by Chief Chinemerem Madu, a NEC member of our dear party, of an alleged plan by some persons both within and outside the party to conduct press conference or issue a press release, calling for the removal or resignation of the National Chairman of our great party,” the statement reads.
“Whatever the plans are, they are intended, in the statement of Chief Chinemerem, to create a distraction from the collective efforts by the party and its members to execute a rescue Nigeria project.
“Our campaign council members were inaugurated today during the launching of a book about our flagbearer, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar. For all intents and purposes, we are set to commence our campaigns from today, hence the alleged plan to destabilise the efforts.
“The kickoff drew large support and participation of our members as well as willing Nigerians with renewed resolve to work towards delivering on our mandate. Make no mistake, as a party, we have moved on to what is ahead of us and refused to be distracted by any unnecessary distraction or drama.
“We call on our members to be aware of what lies ahead of us, the energy and enthusiasm it requires to execute with passion and precision the project that lies ahead. The promise of our ticket to the Nigerian people is quite clear and is designed to lead this country out of the doldrums.
“Our members at all levels are called upon to embark on community mobilisation and engage various groups as we look to win the undecided voters. The stakes are high; there is no sitting on the fence.
“As Nigerians go to the polls, they would decide on their choices along the lines of superior promise on security, education, infrastructure, unity, economy, etc.
Pundits, experts are of the opinion that our candidate presents the best alternative for Nigeria. Our economic blueprint is adjudged as the best by experts and professionals. We are committed to this onerous task.”