Dr. Iyorchia Ayu on Sunday, October 31st 2021, emerged as the National Chairman Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

Ayu, a former Senate President, was made National Chairman of the PDP after emerging as a consensus candidate.

He and 20 others, elected the elective convention now form the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).

The convention which took place at the Eagle Square, Abuja, began on Saturday and lasted till the early morning of Sunday.

But you need to know the man, Iyorchia Ayu, the new national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Dr. Iyorchia Ayu was born in Gboko in Benue State. He served as sociology lecturer at the University of Jos, including courses on the art and science of Marxism. He was the Chairman of the Jos University chapter of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

As a new entrant into politics, Ayu was influential among the majority Tiv people in his home state of Benue and was elected Senator in the Third Republic on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and was elected President of the upper chamber of the National Assembly (1992–1993).

In November 1993, the senate impeached Ayu, who was a strong opponent of the Interim National Government established after the elected president Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola had been prevented from taking office.
However, he later became the Minister for Education in General Sani Abacha’s military government. In March 1994 he chaired a workshop on Technical Education in Nigeria, seeking ways to learn from Germany, the United States, Britain and Japan.

He is reputed to be the political godfather of George Akume, governor of Benue State from 1999 to 2007 who is now in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Minister for Special Duties.

Ayu assisted in the 1998-1999 campaign to elect President Olusegun Obasanjo on the PDP platform, and Obasanjo in return, appointed him as Minister for Industry from 1999 to 2000.

Ayu was also appointed as Minister of Internal Affairs in July 2003. In September 2003 Ayu announced that Nigeria was negotiating security pacts with its northern neighbours Niger and Chad to clamp down on smuggling, human-trafficking and cross border banditry.
In June 2004 he inaugurated the Prisons Monitoring Committee to secure the rights of prisoners to acceptable conditions.
In August 2004, Ayu said that his ministry had started the distribution of national identity cards. The new card was to serve for identification purposes and for validation of other documents, such as passports and driver’s licences. It would also be a tool for controlling migration flows, generating data for government planning, and detecting crimes.
During a cabinet reshuffle in June 2005, Ayu was reassigned to become Minister of Environment. At a meeting in Rotterdam in September 2005, Ayu called for an effective, sufficient and predictable financial mechanism to provide the technical skills and infrastructure needed for African countries to handle chemicals safely.

In October that year Ayu called for fair access to UNDP/GEF funds, and for increased allocations to developing countries.
In December 2005 he spoke at a conference on Integrated Coastal Area Management (ICAM).
He praised the holistic, multi-sectoral approach of ICAM as a way to manage the regional ecosystem. In December 2005, Obasanjo eased Ayu from his government without giving any reason for the action. He then left the PDP and joined the Action Congress (AC). He was head of the campaign to elect Vice President Atiku Abubakar as president on the AC platform in April 2007.

He later served in various Ministerial positions in the Cabinet of President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007.

In February 2007, Ayu was arrested and later arraigned by a Federal court on charges of terrorism which was said to be politically motivated, because of his relationship with Atiku. He was later released on bail.
In March 2007, he spoke out against the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to include Atiku’s name on the list of candidates.

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