2023: You are my friend but I won’t work for you, Ayu tells Atiku

NATIONAL Chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Iyorchia Ayu has told former Vice President Atiku Abubakar that he won’t work for his emergence as the party’s presidential candidate despite their more than 30 years friendship.

Ayu made this known when Atiku’s campaign team paid him and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) a visit at the party’s Secretariat on Thursday.

Ayu noted that although he and Atiku were key players in the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), he won’t work for his interest in the PDP primary election.

The PDP national chairman said he will work for all the party’s presidential candidates.

He said, “Let me acknowledge the fact that you and I have been close friends personal friends for more than 30 years as it was indicated, we were key players in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and key players in the emergence of Chief MKO Abiola.

“So you are a presidential aspirant today. But I want people to know that you are still my friend. I can’t deny you; I never deny my friends including those who are in the other disastrous party. You know them because even there, we have common friends who miss road, who normally should be here with us.

“More importantly, since we formed this party as you have mentioned, we have worked together in various capacities. It is you and I that plotted the emergence of President Obasanjo. An administration that did very well, putting Nigeria on a healthy map economically, socially and politically.

“Again, I can’t deny the fact that we work together harmoniously, whether political issues or economic issues and on the National Security Council when I was minister for internal affairs.

“I’m saying this to make it clear that those who say oh, because of my personal relationship with you, as chairman, I’ll work for you. Mr. Vice President, I will not work for you as an aspirant. I will work for all the 17 aspirants. It is left to you to convince the delegates of our party that you are the best.”

While emphasising that the PDP NWC under his leadership will not support any particular candidate, Ayu advised the former vice president to work hard to present and convince the party’s delegates that he was the right person for the job.



    “You have to market yourself, you have to work hard. This National Working Committee for now we remain an umpire. We are not going to take side with any particular aspirants. But we love you all.

    “I’ve said repeatedly that each one of you given the opportunity will run this country better than what APC has done or will be able to do,” he added.

    Although the party was yet to officially make known the report of its zoning committee on the 2023 general elections, Ayu’s statements have given credence to speculations that the PDP was throwing the presidential ticket open to all aspirants irrespective of zones.

    The party has fixed May 28 and 29 for its presidential primary election.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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