By John Alechenu, Abuja
...joins Atiku, Okowa, others to receive 160,000 APC defectors
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Iyiochia Ayu, has denied reports that he has resigned. He said he has neither resigned nor does he have any plan to do so in the foreseeable future.
This was contained in a tweet by his Media Aide, Simon Imobo-Tswam, on Monday. The tweet reads, “The PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyiochia Ayu, has not resigned and has no plan of resigning.
“For clarity and emphasis, he was elected for a tenure of four years.”
His denial came amidst growing tension in the party over on-going talks between the Party’s Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar and aggrieved party members sympathetic to the course of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Atiku had appointed a seven member team of loyalists led by Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri to hold discussions with Wike’s team of seven under the Prof. Jerry Gana. The two teams are billed to meet in Port-Harcourt late on Monday.
In a related development, the PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar led other party chieftains including, PDP National Chairman, Iyiochia Ayu, former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, Delta State Governor and 2023 PDP Presidential running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa, to receive 160, 000 members of the All Progressives Congress in Adamawa into the PDP.
This was contained in a statement released by the Atiku Media Office, in Abuja.
It quoted Ayu as saying the rate of decampment from the APC to the PDP is increasing by the day and an indication that the opposition party is waxing stronger.
He said, “It is clear everywhere that the PDP is back. Today, we are here to take in new members into the PDP. Very soon, this venue shall be hosting the President of Nigeria who is your very own son.
“I welcome the new entrants to our party and I therefore hand them over to Governor Fintiri. I urge the governor to continue with his good work in making Adamawa better than he met it.”
According to the statement, Atiku, who was greeted with euphoria by the crowd at the venue, also welcomed the decamped new members of the party, promising that he wolf
Atiku said, “I have been serving the people since I joined politics 30 years ago and that is my promise to you all today. I believe that Governor Fintiri has done a good job and that we should join hands to make sure he wins his second term election,” Atiku said.
Speaking on behalf of the supporters and “over 160,000 decampees in various electoral wards across the state,” Hon. Shuaibu Babbbas, a member of the Adamawa State House of Assembly from Fufore Gurin constituency affirmed their loyalty and commitment to the PDP in its quest to oust the APC and fix the broken state of the country’s socio-economic and political fabrics.
Earlier on arrival at the Yola International Airport where he was received to a rousing welcome, Atiku had proceeded to the palace of the Lamido Adamawa, HRH Aliyu Musdafa on a courtesy visit. He was accompanied by Governor Fintiri, his running mate and governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the national chairman of the PDP, Senator Ayu. It is the first time that the presidential standard bearer will be visiting his home state after the presidential primaries election of the PDP.
In his remarks at the Lamido’s palace, Atiku said that his presentation to the Lamido as the presidential candidate of the PDP gives him a sense of nostalgia because his political career would not have attained this mark but for the prayers and support that he enjoys from the Lamido, his palace and the entire state.
“I am an ambassador of this palace, Adamawa State and Nigeria. I am appreciative of the reception I received today which is historic and I am promising you that I will represent you and the entire Nigeria well in the assignment ahead of me as your worthy son”.
In his response, the Lamido said that he was pleased and proud to welcome Atiku home after his emergence as the presidential candidate of a major political party.
The Lamido said, “Your triumph is not just a victory for this Emirate but the country at large as we continue to provide good leadership. I will implore you to use your experience in the task ahead of you. As a detribalized Nigerian, I am confident of your capacity to lead the nation. Your investment in human capital development is a good example of your contribution to the society. I pray that the Almighty remains with you as you strive to become the next president of this country.”