*Says Ayu Worked For, Supported Emergence Of Atiku
*I Said No, When Tinubu Wooed Me To Go For Senate
Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has recalled how the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and a former Senate President, Saraki rebuffed former President Goodluck Jonathan’s pleas to rescind their decision of leaving the party in 2014.
Wike said the Sokoto Governor, Aminu Tanbuwal was among those, who humiliated Jonathan after the 2014 convention as they insisted that it was the turn of the north.
He said the party’s constitution contained provisions for zoning of elective and party positions but lamented that some people were doing everything within their powers to manipulate the system.
He said: “There shall be zoning of party and elective offices. It is clear. Not ambiguous. But people will always try to manipulate the system to suit them.
“They slant stories in such a way as to deceive the public. The founding fathers know the complexity of this country. They did it in a such a way as not to have problems.
“People should not forget history. In 2013 and 2014, there was an issue of the presidential candidate. Jonathan emerged. Atiku and others worked out of the convention. Tambuwal and former Senate President all worked out.
“Jonathan did everything to talk to them. But they rebuffed him as a sitting President. President travelled to London to see Atiku, but he rebuffed him. Former Governor Babangida Aliyu admitted that they all agreed to work against Jonathan”.
Wike also narrated how the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, compromised the integrity of the convention that produced former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, as the presidential candidate of the party.
He said Ayu used his position to intimidate other aspirants, mounting pressure on them to withdraw from the race and support Atiku.
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”.
He also disclosed that Bola Tinubu wooed him to run for senate after he lost the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
where he spoke extensively on some of the underground politics that played out during and after the PDP’s convention which saw the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the party’s presidential candidate.
He alleged that Tinubu accosted him amid the PDP crisis and wooed him to go for the senate, but he rejected the offer.
The Rivers State Governor added that he refused to make decisions that will affect the overall interest of the party despite the internal crisis at the national level, which he claimed was fomented by Atiku, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal and the party’s chair, Iyorchia Ayu.
He, however, stated that Ayu step down and give room to equity and fairness in the party.
Asked if his actions after the primaries were not traits of a bad loser, he replied, I never collected senatorial form, other candidates did and that is how you know those who are serious and those who are unserious .
He opined that he didn’t contest for the ticket because he wanted to settle for the position of vice president.
Imagine a national chairman, Ayu went ahead to describe Tambuwal as hero of the convention,
“You heard what Jang said, he described Ayu as a referee who helped one of the sides to score a goal and then blew a whistle that a goal had been scored.
“There’s nothing Ayu did not do for me not to emerge as the PDP candidate. Ayu did everything to manipulate the system to ensure that all the numbers did not add up,” he said.
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