Journalism of Courage

PDP Presidential primaries: Ayu manipulated delegates, asked aspirants to withdraw for Atiku — Wike

... accuses Ayu of planting "seed of discord" in the party

As the crisis rocking the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) worsens, Rivers Gov. Nyesom Wike has again released another “bombshell”, accusing the party’s National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, of manipulating the delegates and the presidential aspirations.

Wike alleged that Ayu allegedly played a vital role considered to be detrimental to other aspirants in the emergence of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the PDP flagbearer.

Speaking during a live interview with selected journalists aired on TVC on Friday in Port Harcourt, the governor blamed the lingering crisis in the PDP on the failure of the party to zone its presidential ticket to the Southern region of the country.

According to him, Ayu called several presidential aspirants to step down for the former vice-president during the convention.

Wike said: “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 I didn’t emerge.

“A whole national chairman told some aspirants that if Wike wins that he was going to resign. As chairman of the convention, he allowed Aminu Tambuwal to speak a second time. Look, integrity matters!

“Meetings upon meetings were going on. Pressures were being mounted on people to step down; even on the night of the convention meetings were going on. That is why we started our convention late.

“Some of the retired generals were involved. Some of the meetings were held in their houses. There is nothing they didn’t do for me to step down.

“And after everything, Ayu went and hugged Tambuwal that he was the hero of the convention.”

Persecondnews recalls that Atiku polled 371 votes to defeat Wike who scored 237 votes to the second position in the presidential primary.

The performance of other aspirants are as follows: Former Senate President Bukola Saraki (70 votes); Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel (38), Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed (38), Former Senate President Pius Anyim (14), Mrs Tari Diana Oliver (One), and Mr Sam Ohuabunwa (1) shared the remainder of the valid votes.

Weeks after the primary was held, Atiku named the Governorof Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate, a decision which has made Atiku and Wike to be embroiled in a lot of controversies.

Persecondnews had reported on Wednesday that Gov. Wike and other aggrieved stalwarts of the PDP, had pulled out of the campaign Council of the party’s Presidential Candidate set to begin on September 28, 2022.

They also insisted that they would not support Atiku in his presidential bid until Ayu vacates his seat to allow an Acting Chairman from the South to take over.

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