The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Sen. Iyiochia Ayu, has vowed not to allow his personal relationship with former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, to influence the party’s decision on its 2023 Presidential ticket.
Ayu, gave the promise while responding to remarks by the former Vice President, who was at the party’s National Secretariat, Abuja, on Thursday, to interact with members of the PDP National Working Committee.
He expressed the party’s gratitude to Atiku for facilitating the acquisition of the PDP National Secretariat during his time in office.
Ayu said, “Let me start by acknowledging that, you and I have been friends for over 30 years. As it was indicated, we were key players in the Social Democratic Party.
“We’ve been working politically together, you are a presidential aspirant today, I want people to know that you are still my friend. I can’t deny you, I never deny my friends including those who are at the other disastrous party.
“I’m saying this that those who say oh, because of my personal relationship with you, as chairman, I will work for you.
“Mr Vice President, I will not work for you as an aspirant, I will work for all the 17 aspirants.
“It is left for you to convince the delegates of our party that you are the best, you have to market yourself, you have to work hard, this NWC, for now, will remain an umpire, we are not going to take sides with any particular aspirant but we love you all.
Atiku, while informing the NWC of his desire to seek the party’s nomination to contest the 2023 presidential election, recalled his long-standing relationship with most, if not all members of the party’s NWC.
Atiku said, “Very many of you in this National Working Committee, have interacted with me politically and otherwise for a very, very long time. I don’t have to tell you what I am. What qualifications I have and what I can do for this party and for this country.
According to him, his desire to lead Nigeria was anchored on his desire to unify Nigerians, secure their lives and property, as well as improve the economy among other things.
“Secondly, I said I was going to deal with security issues there has to be security before anything else. Mr Chairman and members of the NWC, about 7 months ago.
“I was on a visit to Niger State and I decided to pay a courtesy call on the Governor and the Governor told me ‘Sir, we have about 12 local governments which are under the control of bandits, we don’t know how to conduct elections in those local governments and I went to the President and said we need more policemen and the President said ‘how can I give you more policemen when the Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission are in the court on who will recruit policemen.’ I cannot be that kind of President.”
He further said, “And that is where we are as at today, we cannot recruit policemen because the two agencies are in court, we have a president who cannot be heads of two agencies under control, his own heads of the department, not even ministers.
“I’m not going to be that kind of President because you and I Mr Chairman have worked in the same cabinet before.
“I’m here to inform you of my decision to run again. I urge you to provide the environment for the best candidate to emerge. Mr Chairman, I dare say I’m the best candidate.
“Under normal circumstances, this is a guy who already has 11 million votes in the kitty and I feel like a party, I should be given the right of first refusal.
“ But we are in a democracy all that I can urge you is that the way you have started you should continue by being very fair, very credible and give every contestant to face the electorate.”
Source: Verity News