Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has alleged that the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Iyochia Ayu is “very corrupt”, and that he received N1 billion from a presidential aspirant in Lagos, without remitting same to the party
Wike, who did not disclose who it was that gave Ayu the funds, has been calling for Ayu’s resignation, alleged that the Chairman was corrupt and insincere.
He further accused Ayu of accepting the N1 billion as bribe from an unnamed presidential candidate within the party in order to influence proceedings ahead of the parties primaries in Abuja.
Crisis had been trailing the party since after its primaries that produced Atiku Abubakar as its presidential flag bearer, leading to some stakeholders led by Wike asking for the resignation of Ayu.
Speaking during the interview on Friday, Wike who leveled allegations of corruption against Ayu, said: “Ayu is very corrupt. Ayu has an opportunity to challenge me. Some of the governors can tell you.
“Will he deny the fact that he did not collect one billion naira in Lagos.
“He met one of the presidential candidates, and said he did not think the governors will sponsor the party. He collected the money and it is not in PDP account.
“If he denies it, I will call some of the business men who arranged the money in Lagos. We are not even challenging him on that.”
He vowed to expose more wrongdoings by the national chairman if the latter dares to publicly challenge him.
However, Wike stated that the call for Ayu’s resignation is not premised on the allegations of corruption and manipulation, instead Ayu is being asked to resign to fulfill the promise he made before the primaries.
He stressed that Ayu promised to resign and let a new chairman emerge from the Southern region, if the presidential candidate emerged from the North; it is on this promise that Wike and other aggrieved members demand his resignation.
Wike said, “Nobody forced Ayu to make the pledge on resignation if a Northerner emerged; he knew this was the practice. Was it Wike that told him to make a pledge?
“Will he deny the fact that he didn’t collect N1bn from Lagos? He met one of the presidential aspirants towards that effect; let Ayu come out and deny and I will bring out the facts.”
The crisis facing the opposition party took a new swing on Wednesday when Wike and members of his camp pulled out of the party’s presidential campaign council, declaring that they would not support the candidacy of Atiku unless the national chairman resigns.
Wike also maintained that he would not resign from the party as being insinuated. He said he would remain in the PDP to “fight for fairness, equity and justice”