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Alleged bribery: I didn’t become PDP chairman to steal money, says Ayu

  Iyorchia Ayu, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says his leadership is guided by transparency and accountability. ...


Iyorchia Ayu, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says his leadership is guided by transparency and accountability.


According to a statement issued on Friday by Simon Imobo-Tswam, media adviser to Ayu, the PDP chairman said this when the forum of elected ex-officio of the party paid him a visit in Abuja.


There have been allegations of financial mismanagement against the Ayu-led NWC of the party, with claims that funds from the sale of nomination forms have not been properly accounted for.


Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, who is among persons demanding the resignation of Ayu, had accused him of receiving N1 billion from a presidential hopeful, while alleging that the national chairman is “very corrupt”.


Last week, some NWC members announced the refund of different amounts sent to their bank accounts by the party’s leadership.


In different letters to the party, the affected members — Taofeek Arapaja, deputy national chairman, south; Dan Osi Orbih, national vice-chairman, south-south; Stella Effah-Atoe, national women leader; and Olasoji Adagunodo, national vice-chairman, south-west — had said they were not comfortable with the reason given by the party for the funds.


But backing the transaction, Debo Ologunagba, the party’s national publicity secretary, said the NWC members were paid housing allowance.


Speaking on Friday, Ayu said although he has “many faults”, stealing is not one of them.


“The PDP was not founded to be in opposition. We founded the party to access power and develop the country. And my historic task is to return the party to power. I won’t be chairman forever. For now, my preoccupation is to return the party to power. I did not come to steal. My public service record is there,” he was quoted as saying.


“I have been a leader of the national assembly. I have been a minister many times. As a person, I have many faults, but stealing is not one of them. I am conscious of my place in history, and the NWC that I lead is guided by the twin principles of transparency and accountability.


“You may be reading many things and expecting my reaction. If we don’t always talk, it is because we want to maintain and build cohesion in the party. We don’t want continuous altercations in the PDP family. Our eyes are on the big picture — winning the 2023 general elections.


 “Therefore, let us not lose focus. Let us keep our eyes glued to the big picture. Everything else is secondary. We took office because there was a crisis in the party, and we don’t want to keep moving from crisis to crisis. It’s not good for the party. We can’t be in perpetual crises, especially where the crisis is artificial.


“The NWC met and discussed the issue of housing allowance. It was unanimously agreed that no bribe or any form of illegality took place. A statement has since been issued to that effect. The matter has now been laid to rest.”

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