PDP Chairmanship: Ayu emerges as consensus candidate…As Shema, Ningi steps down

By Myke Uzendu, Abuja

As the October 31 national elective convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) draws nearer, the party on Thursday in an expanded Northern stakeholders meeting, unanimously nominated former Senate President, Dr Iyorchia Ayu as it consensus candidate for the position of National Chairmanship.

Ayu emerged after several days of intense consultation and lobby by the North Central on all the zones in the north as well as interested candidates.

The Adamawa state governor, Umaru Fintri who chaired the meeting said that all the candidates were allowed to horse trade which culminated in the withdrawal from the race of two other contestants, Ibrahim Shema and Senator Abdul Ningi.  He described the emergence of Ayu as “no Victor no vanquished”.   

It was gathered that Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, former Senate Presidents, David Mark, Bukola Saraki and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, BoT of party, Senator Walid Jibrin, went into private meeting with Shema and Ningi, both of whom promptly opted out of the race, paving way for the emergence of Ayu. 

Ningi, former leader of the Senate was dragged to the race by Governor Bala Muhammed of Bauchi state to scuttle the aspiration of Senator Suleiman Nazif, incumbent deputy national chairman (North) of the PDP, The AUTHORITY learnt. Former Katsina state governor, Ibrahim Shema was earlier nominated by the North-West.

In a consolidation meeting, the three zones in a meeting at the Bauchi state Governor’s lodge zeroed in on Ayu as a consensus candidate.

Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Fintiri said that the consensus makes all contestants winners and not losers.
He said: “Distinguish Senator Iyorchia Ayu has emerged as a consensus candidate of the North. With this, we are fully prepared, we are ready. We will be talking with our colleagues from other parts of the country, especially the South so that they can see reasons for this consensus candidate and give us support during the October 30 and 31 convention of PDP.

 “There is no victor, no vanquished in this meeting. We all came out united. Out of the three Northern contestants that all the three zones produced, the candidates themselves in the spirit of unity and togetherness, in the spirit of ensuring that PDP emerges and benefits from our efforts, so that we can win together for Nigerians the 2023 general elections, chose Ayu.
“All of them were immensely qualified but through discussion and reconciliation, we have emerged with a consensus that was endorsed by the candidates themselves. There was no election and there was no selection.”

 In his acceptance speech, Sen. Ayu pledged to quickly come up with policies that will give the PDP a new face, after the convention.
He said: “It is my singular honour to accept the responsibilities which has been put on my shoulders from the North. I believe that at the end of the day, it will not only be the North, but it will be about all Nigerians. The PDP will be back to its winning ways and we will work tirelessly after the convention to rebuild the party to take over power to rebuild the country.

“I believe all Nigerians miss the PDP government. Our 16 years moved this country forward. We intend to work together with all the leaders, not only in the North but across the country to reposition this country for the next generation of Nigerians.

“It will be an all inclusive administration of the party. We will work collectively to produce policies which will be acceptable to all Nigerians. Today, our currency is the weakest in the world. Even the Somalians are better than us in Africa.

“We will work hard to solve the issue of insecurity. I want to thank the leaders of the North who are united, determined and who are willing to work with me. I am a foundation member of this party. I worked in the party before, but I know that you cannot do it alone.

“We shall work as team and I believe with the support of Nigerians, who have suffered in the hands of a party that does not exist, of a party that does not care for the youths of Nigeria, of a party that doesn’t care for anybody but themselves, we shall achieve victory and administer this country to the greater glory of God.”

The meeting was attended by top politicians from the three Northern geo-political zones of North Central, North-East and North-West including Aminu Tambuwal, Samuel Ortom, Tanimu Turaki, Ibrahim Dankwambo among others.

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