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Ayu: My N1billion 'bribe' story

New PDP National Chairman, Iyorcha Ayu, delivering the party new NWC during his inauguration on Friday

PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu has explained the circumstances surrounding the N1 billion which the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike claimed was a bribe he collected from a presidential aspirant.

The Rivers State Governor had claimed Ayu collected N1bn from a presidential aspirant, insinuating that the fund was in support of the bid by former vice president Atiku Abubakar to grab the party’s presidential candidate.

Wike had claimed he know how the money was arranged and those involved in packaging the money for Ayu.

But the PDP National Chairman described the claim by the governor as false while speaking to journalists on Friday in Abuja.

However, Ayu agreed that there is indeed talk about N1bn, but it was a suggestion of a loan by the party’s presidential candidate, but the National Working Committee of the party rejected the idea.

Ayu, who spoke at the end of a special Board of Trustees meeting pf PDP in Abuja 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 about the N1bn, 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 N1bn from anybody.

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“So, I state that I never collected N1bn from anybody. Also, the N100m that was donated by one of the governors has been judiciously used for the purpose (for which) it was given. In the next few weeks, we will be inviting all party leaders, including members of the press, for the inauguration 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. The owner of that bank was also an influential member of this party. He has left the party now.

“When we discussed it with him, we discarded the idea and the party never took any loan or any money from anybody. I, as a person, never collected N1bn from anybody. Any money advanced to the party was declared before the National Working Committee and handed over to the national treasurer of the party.”

He also dismissed allegations that he collected N100m from a governor and the party for renovation of Peoples Democratic Party’s Institute, PDI.

Ayu 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 portakabin. 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 inauguration, 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 money belonging to the party to carry out the renovation. In fact, we have not even exhausted that N100m, which was donated by one of the governors.”

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