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Senator Iyorchia Ayu, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has responded to corruption allegations against the National Working Committee, NWC, following the return of over N100m allowance by some NWC members.
Ayu stated that the funds were for housing allowance which all members of the NWC unanimously agreed to, debunking speculations that the fund was a bribe or an illegal payment.
The PDP Chairman disclosed this in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Simon Imobo-Tswam, noting that his aim was to ensure PDP emerges victorious in next year’s presidential election and not to misappropriate the funds of the party.
According to Imobo-Tswam, Ayu spoke when he welcomed the Forum of elected ex-officio members of the party who were on a solidarity visit at the party’s headquarters.
Ayu said, “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.
“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.”
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He stated that he intentionally refused to comment on allegations against him because his attention was on ensuring the party wins the 2023 general elections.
Ayu added, “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, which is 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 crisis, especially where the crisis is artificial.”