Ayu Exploited Delegates, Manipulated Presidential Primary For Atiku – Wike

 

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has accused the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyorchia Ayu, of exploiting delegates and manipulating the presidential primary which saw Atiku Abubakar emerge as the party’s flagbearer for 2023.

Wike in a media chat on Friday, further alleged that Ayu called several presidential aspirants to step down for the former vice president during the primaries.

“He was calling aspirants to withdraw for Atiku. I was there, Saraki and others were there.

“He manipulated the delegates. There was nothing Ayu did not do to ensure Wike didn’t emerge,” the governor declared.


READ ALSO: PDP Saga: We Are Currently Telling Nigerians To Distrust Us – Wike


Wike’s comments are the latest trailing the crisis within the PDP where a faction of the party seeks to remove Senator Ayu, a cause which the Rivers State governor says became imperative, seeing that no southerner occupies any of the top three positions in the PDP.

In his chat with reporters the governor explained that when Ayu was canvassing to become leader of the party, the former Senate President would not allow him rest, pleading to be given a chance to unite the PDP.

The governor further asserted that it was to his dismay, that Ayu got into office and began to do the opposite of all he had sworn to uphold within the party.

The case against Ayu

Governor Wike said when they started selling forms for the primaries, he reminded the National Chairman that they had set up a committee on Zoning headed by the governor of Enugu State, however, Ayu started selling forms without resolving the issue of zoning.

“So, cleverly, they now came up to say, ‘well, since people have already bought forms, there is no need to zone'”.

At that point, Wike said he knew the move would cause problems but decided to go in for the campaign and gave it his all.

“We went for the primaries and we campaigned seriously. And they were shocked because if you look at the modus of our campaign, nobody was the DG. Nobody was anything, you never know… because we didn’t want to allow anybody to approach people to be moles.”


READ ALSO: 2023: PDP Cannot Do Without Me In Rivers State, Says Wike


A file photo combination of Nyesom Wike and Iyorchia Ayu

 

According to the governor, the success of the campaign became a problem and a source of concern for other candidates and as such, a series of meetings were held.

“A whole National Chairman threatened some of the presidential aspirants at that time that if Wike wins he was going to resign. In fact, he was calling aspirants to withdraw for Atiku Abubakar. Bala Mohammed (Bauchi Governor) is there. (Bukola) Saraki is there; Tambuwal is there.

“Meetings and meetings and meetings were called. You must withdraw, if not we will lose. Wike will win. Some of them said but the issue is not about Wike, we want to run. This is the national chairman of a party, who is supposed to be the chief umpire,” Wike narrated.

He said this continued even until the day of the primaries, adding that this was the reason the PDP’s primary election kicked-off “very very late”.

“The primary was to supposed start at 11am. We started at 5:30pm to 6pm. Who are the delegates? (They are from) 774 local government under where use to have 4,000 or 5,000 delegates.

“So, what was going on? Meetings upon meetings upon meetings. Putting pressure (on aspirants to) step down. Some retired generals were involved. Some of the meetings were held in their houses. But even in the committee of the convention, when we met in Benue Governor’s lodge with the National Working Committee, I raised it. I said, ’National Chairman, these people you are forwarding as chairmen of these committees are all known supporters of Atiku Abubakar.

“Ayu swore ‘oh, no’. I said look, ‘Just to let you know that if we don’t want this convention, we would have gone to court but we don’t want the party to be in crisis. Therefore, do the right thing so that at the end of the day all of us will be happy that the party has done a good convention and a winner has emerged without rancour.

“We are an opposition party, we are not in the ruling party. Therefore, we must conduct ourselves in such a way that there should not be internal crisis that may not be resolved before the general elections.

“There was nothing Ayu didn’t do; manipulation of delegates list… there was nothing he didn’t do. And, unfortunately, today, the numbers are not adding up. There is nothing they didn’t do to make sure that Wike did not emerge (as winner).

“So, we went to the convention and they came. You remember I spoke last based on alphabetical order. And when I came out to speak, of course, there was danger.

“The ovation was thunderous so it became a problem to them. To tell you, and I was highly disappointed by the former Senate President. Very experienced, very civil. All these things were set up to manipulate the system. Senator David Mark; he was the Chairman of the Convention planning committee. It has never happened in the history of elections.

“In fact, when you are speaking, whatever thing you want to do, it is at that point you will say it. But everybody has spoken, I have spoken. We have now sat down for them to commence voting, (that’s when) a whole Chairman of Convention Planning Committee said there was an announcement. It has never happened anywhere.

“The announcement we were thinking would be for security reasons, don’t pass this way or ‘there is something we just picked up; I don’t know if anybody has lost anything — your phone or whatever’. Such announcements is expected. But (the announcement was) to give back the microphone to Tambuwal to come again and speak after everybody has spoken to say ‘My brothers I want to withdraw’.

“Not even saying you want to withdraw, you now went ahead to say that his people should vote for Atiku Abubakar. At that point, if not for the love of the party we have, if we don’t love this party, that convention wouldn’t have held. There would have been crisis in that convention.”

Wike also accused Ayu of being very corrupt, when told that that was a weighty allegation and asked if he had evidence, he challenged Ayu to deny the allegation.

“Listen, Ayu has the opportunity to challenge me. I will name, I said I will name. I told you I was going to speak; am I not speaking today? Even some of the governors can tell you.

“Look, will he deny that he collected one billion from Lagos? Let him deny, I will tell you who gave him the money; not Lagos government. The money was given to him in Lagos. He met one of the presidential aspirants and told him that he is not sure these governors will want to sponsor the party.

“Let Ayu say no. I will even call some of the business men and how the money was arranged in Lagos. That money did not enter into the account of PDP. But we are not attacking Ayu on that basis. Look I am not any governor. I am a serious governor. I can’t just come here and begin to say anything. I say I challenge (him).

“Let him deny this,” Wike challenged Ayu.

PDP Governors Ask Warring Stakeholders To ‘Sheath Their Sword’

FILE: PDP governors attend a meeting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on June 14, 2021.

 

Governors under the aegis of the Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday asked its warring stakeholders to sue for peace.

The Governors also called for an early national convention in October after a meeting held in Abuja.

The PDP has been experiencing an internal crisis leading to the resignation of at least seven principal officers.

The party has also lost the Governors of Ebonyi, Cross River, and Zamfara to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

On Monday, some party members held placards calling for the resignation of National Chairman, Uche Secondus.

A caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party at the House of Representatives have accused Secondus of having “no clear road map, blue print or policy programme for the PDP.”

However, Secondus has said nothing, so far, warrants his resignation as National Chairman.

“The Constitution, traditions and practices of the Party should be strictly adhered to in finding solutions to any problems,” the PDP Governors said in a statement signed by Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.

Mr Tambuwal is the Chairman of the PDP Governor’s forum.

“All parties should sheath their sword in the greater interest of the PDP and the need to RESCUE Nigeria from the avoidable National malaise and drift occasioned by the APC administration,” the statement added.

The Governors also called for the activation of all processes “leading to an early National Convention in October.”

 

Read the PDP Governor’s full statement below:

PRESS STATEMENT

PDP STAKEHOLDERS RESOLVE TO PROCEED WITH AN EARLY NATIONAL CONVENTION

The PDP Stakeholders held a meeting on Tuesday 10th August, 2021, at Wadata Plaza,, Abuja on the recent developments in the PDP.

2. There were extensive consultations with all major stakeholders in the Party including the Governors, members of the Board of Trustees, former Presiding Officers and current Principal officers and Leaders from the National Assembly, former Governors, former Ministers, and indeed other leaders of the Party with a view to bringing all tendencies within the Party together in view of the urgent task facing the Party as the only viable vehicle to checkmate the abysmally poor governance of the APC led Federal Government.

3. The meeting deliberated extensively on the issues thrown up and resolved as follows:
a. That the Constitution, traditions and practices of the Party should be strictly adhered to in finding solutions to any problems.

b. That all parties should sheath their sword in the greater interest of the PDP and the need to RESCUE Nigeria from the avoidable National malaise and drift occasioned by the APC administration.

c. That all processes leading to an early National Convention in October be immediately activated by relevant Party organs, especially National Executive Committee (NEC).

d. That the Party should redouble efforts to provide a credible alternative leadership for Nigeria as it still remains the only hope for the Nigerian people for good governance.

e. The meeting requested the NEC to immediately constitute a Zoning Committee for Party Offices and another Committee for National elective Offices.

f. The meeting expressed appreciation to Party elders for their commitment and wisdom in handling Party affairs.

g. We shall overcome and restore peace, security and development once again to Nigeria.

Rt. Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR
Chairman
PDP GOVERNORS FORUM
FOR PDP stakeholders

House To Investigate Tambuwal’s Harassment By Security Operatives

house_of_repsThe House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Defence, Army, Police, Public Safety and Interior to investigate and report back within one week, the harassment of the speaker, Aminu Tambuwal by security operatives on Monday in Kaduna state.

The resolution of the House was reached after a two hour closed door session by members as requested by the speaker after the adoption of a prayer brought on the floor by a lawmaker, Ogbuehi Ozomgbachi.

Tambuwal said while no lawmaker is above the law, he as the speaker of the National Assembly expects to enjoy some level of privilege as provided by law.

The speaker maintained that no lawmaker is above the law but said it is important to protect the institution of the legislature and not the individuals that are constituted in the Nigerian Legislature.

Soldiers, had  on Monday, at the Hotel 17, Kaduna, venue of International Conference  on Security and Development Challenges of Pastoralism in West and Central Africa, subjected the Speaker and his official car to a search, forcing the security details of the number four citizen to protest.

Nigeria loses $5billion to oil theft annually-Shell

Oil theft is costing the nation, a whooping N5 billion loss every year.

This was revealed by the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria PLC, Mr Mutiu Sumonu, who addressed a public hearing on the upsurge of illegal oil bunkering activities in Nigeria’s coastal region.

The Shell boss told the hearing organised by the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) and Navy, that Nigeria loses approximately 150,000 barrels of oil to illegal oil bunkering daily, while the company lost 100 barrels daily between 2003 and 2004.

He adds that the activities of oil thieves have shifted from pilfering to a higher dimension.

Mr Sumonu believes all those involved in the oil sector must display the political will to fight illegal oil bunkering.

He described illegal oil bunkering as a highly syndicated operation that involved oil company workers.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, however assured Nigerians that the National Assembly would continue to support the committee in checking illegal oil bunkering.

Also speaking, the chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream, Representative Muraina Ajibola called for strengthening of relevant institutions by way of allocating more fund for purchase of equipment.
He said that the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) need to step up it’s operations to check maritime theft.