Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has alleged that the national chairman of People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, worked against his aspiration to become the presidential candidate of the party before and during the May 28 convention.
He said Mr Ayu used his office to compromise the integrity of the convention that produced former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, as the presidential candidate of the party.
Mr Wike stated this during a live media chat with journalists in Port Harcourt on Friday.
Narrating how the intrigues played out, Mr Wike claimed that Mr Ayu intimidated other aspirants, by mounting pressure on them to withdraw from the race and support Mr Atiku.
The Rivers governor also claimed that Mr Ayu insisted that if they failed to withdraw from the race, he (Wike) would win the primary.
He said several meetings were held at the instance of the chairman to convince other aspirants to support Mr Atiku.
“A whole chairman of a party, who is supposed to be the umpire, was threatening people to withdraw. He threatened that if Wike wins he would resign. He kept telling people that if they refused to withdraw that Wike was going to win.
“He was holding various meetings and mounting pressure on people to resign. He was supposed to be the umpire. We didn’t want the party to go to court and we kept telling him to do the right thing. He was working for a particular candidate. There was nothing Ayu didn’t do to ensure that Wike failed.
“I spoke last based on alphabetical order. When I came out to speak, there was danger. The applause was much. Everybody had spoken and we sat down to commence voting but a whole chairman of the planning committee announced that there was an announcement.
“He gave back the microphone to Tambuwal. He said he wanted to withdraw but he went ahead to say people should vote for Atiku. If not for the love of the party, that convention would have ended up in crisis.
“I would have said, that this convention will not take place. Ayu as a national chairman described Tambuwal as the hero of the convention.
“I never ran presidential election to want to be the vice-president,” Mr Wike added.