- Reps member congratulates him, describes him as philosopher King
A former Senate President and minister, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, has emerged as North’s consensus candidate for the post of national chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, thus ending days of anxiety, suspense and horse trading on the sensitive issue.
Ayu, a Christian from Benue State, North Central Nigeria, will be ratified as national chairman at the national convention of the PDP scheduled for October 30 and 31, 2021.
PDP leaders from the 19 states that make up Northern Nigeria, had converged on the Bauchi Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro and ratified the adoption of Ayu as the northern region’s consensus candidate.
This was after he was presented to the entire North by the leaders of the party from the North Central zone, following his unanimous adoption on Tuesday at the Benue Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, as the north central zone’s candidate.
Ayu assured stakeholders that he would run a purposeful party.
He called on the party leaders to join him to reposition the PDP with a view to ensuring that it bounces back stronger and take over the Presidential Villa in 2023.
He said that under his leadership, no one could use money to buy his conscience and no single man would own PDP.
According to him: “PDP belongs to all, not one man.”
The PDP had last month, zoned the position of national chairman to the North and furthered micro-zoned it to the North Central.
Meanwhile, in a swift riposte, member representing Ado/Ogbadibo/Okpokwu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Dr Francis Ottah Agbo, described the choice of Ayu as apt, saying he was a leader known to take any assignment given to him with the deserved seriousness and commitment to make a difference.
He said the PDP as a party serious on coming back to rescue Nigeria from the throes of insecurity, economic hardship and corruption, required an experienced and mature mind like Ayu to bear the torch for the total reorganisation of the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Agbo, who is the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Narcotic Drugs, said the wisdom and sagacity applied by Ayu to navigate the legislature during the military era “stands as a testimony to the fact that he has the recondite tact and courage to confront the challenges besetting the party and prepare it for the task of giving Nigeria and Nigerians better leadership.”
He added: “You remember how Dr Ayu even lost his position as President of the Senate during the June 12 crisis due to his resolve to be on the side of democracy.
“Dr Ayu confronted dictatorship and stood on the side of democracy, rule of law and the people.”
Agbo commended the North Central leaders of the PDP, especially Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, former Senate President, Dr David Mark and others for their cooperation and objectivity in arriving at a consensus candidate, saying he appreciated how difficult it was to do so among a constellation of other amply qualified aspirants.
The Lawmaker urged Ayu to see Nigeria as his constituency and treat party members with the respect and courtesy he is known for, saying as one of the critical stakeholders and spokesperson of the Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives, he assured Ayu of his full cooperation and support.