By James Shim
The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Iyorchia Ayu has settled to task. NWC inaugurated in Abuja recently is expected to work out modalities that would change the fortunes of the party and return it to power in 2023.
Dr Iorchia Ayu who is leading the team is reputed for his political principles, strategies, firmness and results. He came to limelight as Senate President whose belief in Democratic governance was unequivocal and selfless. He championed the cause for recognition of the June 12 Presidential election and sacrificed a golden offer to be president of this contry. Since then, Ayu has remained in and around power with invaluable contributions to growth and development of Nigeria’s democracy, though seldom unannounced. He is known for saving desperate situations and it is for this, again that the PDP has found him equal to champion.
Dr Ayu who was visiting the state for the first time since his emergence as the National Chairman of the party, appears to have a message of change and hope by his decision to perform official assignment early enough among his immediate community. The Tiv people of Northern Nigeria have a saying that when one is caught up with madness , the marks begin to manifest first from home and on his properties. So Ayu’s reception and attendant defections of political weights mean something is certainly about to happen with PDP.And it is probably going to be a positive mark. To say , perhaps, the least is that there is certainly going to be a revolutionary regrouping and recruitment of members who will be coming with new orientation and disposition to governance.
Governor Samuel Ortom who described Dr Ayu as a man of integrity expressed optimism that he would not engage in things that will tarnish his integrity.
What destroyed PDP as many keep saying was lack of internal democracy where leadership choices were no more the collective majority decision but exclusive dictates of the influential.
The governor was therefore right when he told the new Captain, “Do everything possible to ensure that there is equity and fairness for all aspirants on the platform of the party in states and country.
“On my part I will ensure that there is fairness and equity for all aspirants working to take over from me. The party in the state is not going to impose any aspirant on people come 2023.”
Aside the collapse of democracy principles in the old PDP, genuine and selfless leadership eluded the party paving the way for the birth of lack of good governance, insecurity and unbridled corruption.
But Ayu seems to understand with focus as he assured, ” by March-April, 2022, there will be no All Progressive Congress (APC) in Nigeria”.
“We will take over with a workable programme of action so that our people will be able to sleep with their eyes closed and it will be visible again that Nigeria is back on the right track.”
“The drifting of PDP members to other political parties would stop under my leadership. We will work assiduously to ensure it wins the up coming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states.”
“Any time Benue State is united, Nigeria can never ignore us. Ignoring us is only possible when we fight ourselves.”
“I have a very formidable team as National Working Committee members,” he stated.
According to him, “the best thing is to produce the next president of Nigeria and win more states. Once we can deliver the party in 2022, no part of the country will be marginalized.”
“It is only equity and justice that Nigeria needs and is only PDP that can guarantee that. There is nothing enticing in this APC led government”
The likes of Former President of the Senate, David Mark are all in solidarity with the National Chairman. And it adds to the story of rebuilding as all who started and embraced PDP are apparently regrouping in Benue State. He said, “We can not afford to fail. If Dr Ayu fails we have all failed. The good thing is that Benue State has never failed.
The Rivers State Governor,Nyisome Wike in his contribution urged the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu to focus on the task of rebuilding the party and not allow himself to be distracted.
“Please, in the name of God, let people not come to you, telling you one thing or the other that will destroy the party.”
“The battle to rescue Nigeria is on your shoulders and you have to bring your wealth of experience to bear on the party”, Wike advised.
Rebranding and rebuilding mission, the task before the NWC may be on the right course. It goes to say results are certain.
Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is among the first to acknowledge the steps “within three weeks of his emergence as the National Chairman, he has set a new agenda and direction for the party.”
“I believe God has led the people of the state through the governor to organize this thanksgiving. When you thank God, he is fired up to do more”
To prove sceptics his clout of politician in his home, the member representing Gboko/Tarka at the National Assembly, Rt Hon. John Dyegh, in whose constituency is the National Chairman of the PDP, opened the flood gates for defections to the PDP.
Hon. John Dyegh advanced his reason that he was dissatisfied with the leadership of APC in the state about 9 months ago. And that he had to reciprocate the honour the party has done to his constituency.
“I was planning my defection for next year but God made it sooner than later with the election of Dr Ayu as the National Chairman.”
“I was very uncomfortable being in another party other than Governor’s party. He has constructed roads in Gboko that no administration has ever done in the state. He has created an atmosphere for development of the state.”, he stated.
Senator representing Benue North East, Gabriel Suswam expressed appreciation to God, Governor Ortom and David Mark for attracting the position of the PDP national Chairman to Benue State.
He explained that the defection of John Dyegh from APC to PDP is a good sign that the party is waxing stronger and also a sign that the reign of the national Chairman of PDP will be successful because he has successfully moved the member representing him at the National Assembly from the APC to PDP.
He warned, however, “There can never be room for them to divide the leadership in the state again.”
The National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Iorchia Ayu is “talk and do.” The principles are engraved and actions have commenced in ernest. To wit he also predicted that the former Governor of Benue State and Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, George Akume will return to PDP in the nearest future. Akume is not only a foundation member of the PDP. Therefore, to many this may not be a surprise. First, the two appears to be political bed fellows coming all the way from 1999. Also that one has admitted the other the political godfather . Another is the establishment of such practices as accepted norm in Nigeria democracy.
Ayu was confident of prediction and begged, “Akume will return to the People’s Democratic Party once he regains his conscience from political tension.
“…and if he comes back don’t reject him but treat him like a prodigal son; as a political prophet I told Akume that one day he will leave PDP for another political party and it came to pass” he assured.
“When it happens please receive him”, Ayu begged.
Hon. Samson Okwu on behalf of PDP House of Representative members in Benue State thanked the Governor for creating enabling environment for the development of the state.
He disclosed that John Dyegh has chosen the right path and assured him of their support.
Hon Barr Chile Igbawua speaking on behalf of governorship aspirants on the platform of PDP explained that Dr Iorchia Ayu has brought honour to the state.
He congratulated John Dyegh for taking the right step, stating that PDP is the only party that can bring Nigeria back on the right track.
Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Titus Uba who spoke on behalf of assembly members on the platform of PDP described the defection of John Dyegh as the last straw that broke the camel’s back, “his exit from APC marks the collapse of the party in Benue North East in particular and Benue State.”