Former President of the Senate and political ally of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, 69 years old Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, is the new National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Atiku is one of the prominent members of the opposition party interested in the party’s presidential ticket for the 2023 election.
Ayu emerged as a concensus candidate from the North-Central zone in the convention that saw three positions contested for. The winners of the contested seats are:
• Deputy National Chairman (North) – Umar Damagum
• Deputy National Chairman (South) – Taofeek Arapaja
• National Youth Leader – Muhammed Suleiman
A former Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Taofeek Arapaja, riding on the backing he got from Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, defeated a former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, for the position of Deputy National Chairman (South) by 2,004 to 705 votes.
Makinde is believed to have included Arapaja’s name in a “Unity List”, drawn up by bigwigs of the PDP, peopled mainly by Governors. The list also saw to the emergence of others like Damagum and Suleiman.
Umar Damagum, former governorship candidate in Yobe State, polled 2,222 votes to beat Inna Ciroma, former Minister of Women Affairs from Borno State, who got 365 votes.
Muhammed Suleiman from Kaduna State scored 3,072 votes to defeat Usman Elkudan, also from Kaduna State, who got 219 votes for the position of National Youth Leader.
The other 17 offices were not contested and those fielded were returned unopposed.
• National Secretary – Samuel Anyanwu
• National Treasurer – Ahmed Mohammed
• National Organising Secretary – Umar Bature
• National Financial Secretary – Daniel Woyegikuro
• National Women’s Leader – Professor Stella Effah-Attoe
• National Legal Adviser – Kamaldeen Ajibade
• National Publicity Secretary – Debo Ologunagba
• National Auditor – Okechuckwu Daniel
• Deputy National Secretary – Setoji Kosheodo
• Deputy National Treasurer – Ndubisi David
• Deputy National Publicity Secretary – Ibrahim Abdullahi
• Deputy National Organising Secretary – Ighoyota Amori
• Deputy National Financial Secretary – Adamu Kamale
• Deputy National Women’s Leader – Hajara Wanka
• Deputy National Youth Leader – Timothy Osadolor
• Deputy National Legal Adviser – Okechukwu Osuoha
• Deputy National Auditor – Abdulrahman Mohammed
Dr. Ayu said, “The PDP is back. We are determined. The other one is a contraption. PDP did it before, we will do it again. This is a quit notice to the other party. We are taking back the country. We will develop the country.
“In two weeks time, you will see the power that will come back in PDP in every state. A small group of people decided to divide Nigeria. We will unite the country and move ahead to develop this country,” Ayu said.
Ayu replaces suspended former National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus. Secondus had tried to get the courts to stop the convention, but lost at the Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt on Friday.
The new chairman and the 20 other leaders were elected at the party’s national convention which began on Saturday and lasted till the early morning of Sunday.
Hundreds of party delegates participated in the election of the new national officers at The Eagle Square in Abuja.