From Victor Osula, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Thursday picked former Senate President Dr Iyiorchia Ayu as consensus candidate of the north for the office of national chairman.
According to the party, Ayu emerged as the consensus candidate for its October 31 elective national convention the after he was adopted by the 19 member states from the North to which the party zoned the position.
In a marathon meeting that held through Wednesday night at the Asokoro, Abuja, Lodge of Bauch State governor, Bala Mohammed the North adopted Ayu’s candidacy following the agreement of the North Central zone after their meeting held at the Asokoro, Abuja, Lodge of Benue governor, Samuel Ortom.
Earlier, the party leaders had shortlisted three candidates from the north in fulfillment of the agreement to cede the position of the Party’s national chairmanship position to the north and president to the south.
The candidates from the North that were shortlisted after a mock election were former Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema who defeated other aspirants to emerge from the North West; Senator Suleiman Nazif from Bauchi State, who is the current PDP Deputy National Chairman (North), who emerged as the sole candidate from the North East and Ayu from Benue State, who won from the North Central.
To emerge victorious, Shema got votes 6 out of 7 states from his zone, leaving his closest challenger, former Kaduna State Governor, Ahmed Makarfi with votes just from Kaduna, his home state. Nazif on his part had no challenger and emerged the sole candidate from his region.
The North Central zone of the PDP agreed to the choice of Benue-born former Senate President, Iyorchia. His position would be ratified at the convention scheduled for October 30 and 31, 2012.
Ayu as their candidate for the position of national chairman of the party. Reacting to his emergence, he promised to run a purposeful party with an open door policy to all members without special favour to any group, saying, “PDP belongs to all, not one man.”