Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has narrated how the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, compromised the integrity of the party’s national convention and Presidential Primary that produced former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, as the presidential candidate of the party.
He disclosed that Ayu used his position to intimidate other aspirants, mounting pressure on them to withdraw from the race and support Atiku.
Governor Wike said Ayu insisted that if they failed to withdraw from the race, he (Wike) would win the primary adding that the chairman held various meetings prior to the primary to convince aspirants to support Atiku.
He said: “A whole chairman of a party, who is supposed to be the umpire, was threatening people to withdraw. He threatened that if Wike wins he would resign. He kept calling people that if they refused to withdraw that Wike was going to win.
“He was holding various meetings and mounting pressure on people to resign. He was supposed to be the umpire. We didn’t want the party to go to court and we kept telling him to do the right thing. He was working for a particular candidate. There was nothing Ayu didn’t do to ensure that Wike failed.
“I spoke last based on alphabetical order. When I came out to speak, there was danger. The applause was much. Everybody had spoken and we sat down to commence voting but a whole chairman of the planning committee announced that there was an announcement.
“He gave back the microphone to Tambuwal. He said he wanted to withdraw but he went ahead to say people should vote for Atiku. If not for the love of the party, that convention would have ended up in crisis.
“I would have said, that this convention will not take place. Ayu described Tambuwal, a national chairman as the hero of the convention. I never ran presidential election to want to be the vice-president”.