***Set To publish Party income and expenditure account in December
By: Maryam Musa Sen
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, insists that allegations of bribery against him were mere diversionary narrative by mischief makers.
Ayu declared that he was elected to restore the PDP to power; and not to loot or mismanage party funds.
A press statement by the Special Adviser Media and Communicationsto the national Chairman, Simon Imobo Tsuwan quoted the PDP chairman as saying this on Friday, while reacting to allegations of bribing National Working Committee members of the PDP to stave off his removal.
The statement also quoted Ayu as having instructed the Finance Department of the party to maintain an update on the party’s income and expenditure account for presentation to the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) at the first-year anniversary of the present NWC in December.
It was his first formal reaction to charges against him in the media of bribery and illegal payments to members of the party’s National Working Members (NWC).
Ayu said although he has his foibles as a human being, stealing was not one of them, adding that the present NWC is being guided by the principles of transparency and accountability.
He spoke while welcoming the Forum of Elected Ex-Officio Members of the party who paid him a solidarity visit at the PDP National Headquarters.
His words: “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.
“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 i.e. winning the 2023 general elections.”
He went on: “Therefore, let us not lose focus. Let us keep our eyes glued on the big picture. Everything else is secondary. We took office because there was crisis in the party.
And we don’t want to keep moving from crises to crises. It’s not good for the party. We can’t be in perpetual crises, especially where the crisis is artificial.
He added: “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.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Forum, Hon. Yunana Iliya, said the members were at the party secretariat to express solidarity with the National Chairman, and pledged their unalloyed loyalty to the Ayu-led NWC.
“We stand by the recent Vote of Confidence passed on you by the highest decision-making body of the party, the National Executive Committee (NEC), and we urge all party faithful to close ranks in PDP’s rescue work,” he added.