The newly-elected Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, has challenged the All Progressives Congress to hold a national convention like the PDP has done.
He noted that with the conduct of a successful national convention, the PDP was issuing a quit notice to the APC to prepare its handover notes ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Ayu, a former President of the Senate, spoke after members of the new National Working Committee of the PDP were declared at the Eagle Square, Abuja, in the early hours of Sunday.
The new NWC is to be inaugurated on December 9, 2021, when the tenure of the incumbent the court-suspended National Chairman, Uche Secondus, and the committee he heads terminates.
Ayu said, “I want to sincerely appreciate the PDP family. Today is simply a ‘thank you’ address. When we started this party 23 to 24 years ago, we never in any way imagined that our journey would get us to this stage; a stage where we ruled 16 years, we went into rough times but for anybody who would bother to see, PDP is back.
“PDP is back and it is back to rescue Nigeria from the terrible mess we have been in, in the last six years. Many people imagined that this convention would lead to the breakup of the PDP.
“Those people who were dreaming like that, they were dreaming in Wonderland; their dreams were misplaced. We have come out stronger. We are united. We are determined to come back to where PDP belonged.
“This is the real party in Nigeria, the other one is a contraption, it doesn’t exist. I want to assure you that in a few days or few weeks’ time, you would see the mammoth crowd that would come back to PDP in every state. Those Nigerians who have lost hope should today know that Nigeria is not a divided country.
“A small group of people decided to divide Nigeria. PDP will come back to unite our people, put them together – North and South, East and West. We will move ahead to develop this country. We did it before, we are going to do it again.”
While expressing gratitude thanking state governors and the party members for their support, the new chairman said, “I believe the other party can never hold a convention because even state congresses, they can’t hold; they have produced 92 chairmen for 36 states.
“How can they hold a convention? We are waiting…it is a challenge to them. Let them come and hold such a successful convention which the PDP has done. This is quite a notice. PDP is back and it is taking back the country. We will develop it.”
Out of the 21 positions in the NWC, 18 members contested unopposed at the Eagle Square venue of the convention in Abuja.
The elected NWC is made up of the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu (Unopposed); Deputy National Chairman (North), Umar Damagum (Contested); Deputy National Chairman (South), Taofeek Arapaja (Contested) and National Secretary, Samuel Anyanwu (Unopposed).
Others are National Treasurer, Ahmed Mohammed (Unopposed); National Organising Secretary, Umar Bature (Unopposed); National Financial Secretary, Daniel Woyegikuro (Unopposed); National Women’s Leader, Professor Stella Effah-Attoe (Unopposed); National Youth Leader, Muhammed Suleiman (Contested); National Legal Adviser, Kamaldeen Ajibade (Unopposed); National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba (Unopposed); and National Auditor – Okechuckwu Daniel (Unopposed).
The new officers also include: the Deputy National Secretary, Setoji Kosheodo (Unopposed); Deputy National Treasurer, Ndubisi David (Unopposed); Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Ibrahim Abdullahi (Unopposed); Deputy National Organising Secretary, Ighoyota Amori (Unopposed)
Meanwhile, the outgoing NWC has alleged that the APC is intimidating and harassing governors out of the opposition party while also using state power in an attempt to cripple the PDP.
The allegation was contained in the ‘National Secretary’s Report to 2021 Elective Convention,’ circulated during the PDP national convention.
In the report by the National Secretary of the PDP, Senator Ibrahim Tsauri, the party said in the last four years, it had proven to be a resilient and growing party, “in spite of all efforts and antics by the ruling party to use state power to cripple the PDP.”
Meanwhile, a former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has congratulated the newly elected PDP chairman and other 20 national officers.