By Helen Udoh-Abuja

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), today appealed to aggrieved party chieftains to spare his family members in their quarrels with him and the leadership of the party.
He made the appeal during a press briefing at the end of a Special BoT Meeting at the PDP National Headquerters.
Ayu’s appeal is a reaction to Gov. Nyesom Wike’s another attack on his person earlier in the day when he dragged the national chairman’s family into his feud.
Wike alleged that Ayu collected N100m from a serving governor to relocate the Peoples Democratic Institute (PDI), but had turned round to collect the same amount from the party to fund the project. He went further to say even Ayu’s children would disown him if he (Wike) revealed their father’s unsavoury dealings.
Ayu said: “When my BOT Chairman talks, I am not supposed to say anything more. But since these allegations have persisted, I want to use this opportunity to clear the air.
“When the first allegation was made i.e. the N1billion – I decided not to respond because we don’t want to cause altercations in the party. However, I want to make it clear that at no time did I, as the National Chairman of this party, collect any N1billion from anybody.
“The consistent attacks on my person since the end of the convention on the 31st of May are deliberate and unfortunate. I have restrained myself from reacting. As the father of the party, I felt I should encourage reconciliation. But where it touches on my personal integrity, of which even my own family members are brought into play, it is incumbent upon me to reply.
“So, I state that I never collected N1bn from anybody. Also mthe N100m that was donated by one of the governors has been judiciously used for the purpose it was given. And in the next few weeks, we will be inviting all party leaders, including members of the press, to come for the commissioning of the PDI.
“When we came in and the party had funding difficulties, the current presidential candidate suggested that the party should take a loan of N1bn from a bank. And the owner of that bank was also an influential member of this party. He has left the party now.
“But when we discussed with him, we discarded the idea. And the party never took any loan or any money from anybody. And I as a person never collected N1billion from anybody. Any money advanced to the party was declared before the National Working Committee (NWC) and handed over to the National Treasurer of the party.”
Reiterating his position that the party was being transparent in its financial dealings, the National Chairman said: “The party’s accounts are straight. They are up to date. And we promise to present the audited account to the public at the end of the year.”
On today’s allegation he said– “luckily, I had fully briefed the Board that one of our governors made a contribution of N100m to the revival of the Peoples Democratic Institute which was housed in a portacabin. And we explained to them that we hired an appropriate place in Asokoro; we have renovated it and furnished it,
“Two or three days ago, we went there to inspect the place. And the NWC decided that even before commissioning, we should invite the Governor in question to come and inspect what we have done with his money. I am happy to state that the National Secretary of the party has since written a letter to that Governor.
“So, it is not true. Neither I nor the NWC ever took any party money to carry out the renovation. In fact, we have not even exhausted that N100m which was donated by one of the governors.”

Simon Imobo-Tswam
Special Adviser to the National Chairman on Media and Communications.

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