Nyesom Wike, Rivers State governor.

Iyorchia Ayu, the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has refused to resign his position in order to continue overseeing the finances of the opposition party, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said.

Mr Wike and his allies in the PDP have been at the forefront insisting Mr Ayu must step down as a precondition of supporting the party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, from ousting the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) during the 2023 general election from power at the center.

The demand began after the emergence of the PDP candidate in May with the embattled chairman allegedly campaigning and using the instrument of the party to favour the former vice president in securing its ticket.

Stating why he is requesting the ousting of the opposition chief, the governor alleged corruption, revealing that the national chairman received various sums of money unknown to the party hierarchy, some of which he has refuted.

At a media parley in Port Harcourt on Sunday, Mr Wike reiterated his request, saying Mr Ayu refused to go so as to continue overseeing the funds of the party.

The governor also said the national chairman lacked the power to stop aspirants of the party as the latter boasted of recently.

“Why does he not want to resign?” the governor queried. “He is hoping that Nigerians will donate money to the party so he will superintendent over that money.

“He has already finished the one of N11 billion from the party’s primaries. Account for it, he says it is in the account. Show the public the account. Print out the statement of account of PDP and let the world see how the N11 billion was expended.

“And this is the party that all of us have laboured to take over power from the ruling party that we said has done badly. And then the national chairman will open his mouth to talk about stopping contestants.

“Ayu shouldn’t say so. He tried it in Rivers state. He came to manipulate and try to put some gubernatorial aspirants, but he saw the result. We dealt with him.”