The duo who hail from Benue North West senatorial district engaged have had a disagreement shortly after the party presidential primary election that produced Abubakar Atiku as the party’s standard bearer against Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who was the choice of some governors including Ortom.
Since then, Wike alongside his counterparts in Benue, Oyo, Abia and Enugu has repeatedly called for the resignation of Senator Iyorchia Ayu as the party chairman as the only panacea to restore peace to the main opposition party.
The Ayu/Ortom feud which has split the party in Benue State is threatening the senatorial ambition of the governor with Ayu kinsmen in the Jemgbah axis accusing the governor of teaming up with others to pull down their son from his exalted office.
Addressing the crowd that welcomed him home in Gboko on Friday, Senator Ayu who spoke in the Tiv dialect told his people that he had the power to stop any candidate under the party, particularly in the state to avenge all the attacks on him.
But he added that as a father of all and in his quest to avoid a crack in the party, he has decided to remain silent.
He said, “I have been silent over all the things you are hearing against me because I don’t want any crack in the party I belong in my state, I have the powers to say you and you will not go anywhere because I will insist that I must sign before you go anywhere.
“But I have signed for all candidates produced by the PDP to go ahead in their dreams, whether I like it or not I signed.
“So I was doing that believing that I cannot shoot myself in the leg. I want Benue to come first by winning all elections so that Nigerians will say that the national chairman has delivered his state to PDP with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar winning 90 per cent of the votes and Titus Uba as governor in 2023.
While admonishing his people not to be afraid of what some politicians are saying, Ayu said,
“Nothing should worry you, my people. Since I started politics more than 30 years ago, you have never rejected me, you are always supporting me. They say a prophet has no respect in his home, but my case is different I am overwhelmed by this great show of love.
“The PDP is one and not divided. I am trying my best not to disappoint the Benue people and Nigerians in general, so if you hear that they want to chase Ayu out as national chairman, don’t be worried; nobody is going to sack me as national chairman of our party. I will leave the seat on a day that God permits.
“It is God that enthrones leadership, He uses people to enthrone a person over others and protects that person. I want to assure you that all these days, God has been protecting me even when I went on sick leave abroad, God is still protecting me.
“The Tiv people have suffered so much in this country. We are yet to get our share of the national cake, so my charge to you is not to relent in prayers so that this time around come 2023, God will give us a president who will work closely with the Governor of our state to wipe out our tears.
“During senator J S Tarka’s era, God gave us a Fulani man, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, did he fight the Tiv nation? Did he kill our people? He appointed five ministers from Benue State and speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Chaha, Paul Unongo (Minister of steel), Isaac Shaahu (Minister of Communications), Mrs Elizabeth Ivase (Education Minister) and Audu Ogbeh etc.
“Another Fulani man, Yar Adua appointed a Tiv man, Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, his Minister of Justice.
“Today, the standard bearer of PDP, Atiku Abubakar, who is not only a chieftaincy title holder of the Tiv people as the Zege Mule U Tiv, he is my friend, he told me his plans for the Tiv nation. That he will wipe away the tears of our people.
“So nobody should try to bring any troubles to you. I am telling you today, PDP is one party, a party that has divisions and does not win elections. No matter the strength of any party, if it does not have unity, it will lose elections.
He called on the people of the state to vote massively for the party to be able to win in all the elections.