A former President of the Senate, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, has emerged as the new National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr Ayu, who was the consensus candidate at the party national convention in Abuja, got 3,426 affirmative votes out of 3,511 accredited voters.

Senator Ayu, a consensus candidate for the position, took over the leadership of the PDP alongside 20 others elected into various positions within the PDP National Working Committee.

Taofeek Arapaja emerged as the Deputy National Chairman (South). Mr Arapaja secured a total of 2,004 votes to defeat his only rival, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former Governor of Osun, who polled 705 votes, while invalid votes were165.

Umar Damagum scored a total of 2,222 votes to defeat his sole rival, Inna Ciroma, for the position of Deputy National Chairman (North). Mr Ciroma polled 365 votes.

The position of National Youth Leader was won by Mohammed Suleiman with 3,072 votes, while his co-contestant, Usman Elkudan, had 219 votes.

Those returned unopposed with uniform votes of 3,426 were Samuel Anyanwu as National Secretary; Ahmed Mohammed – National Treasurer; Umar Bature as National Organising Secretary and Daniel Woyegikuro as National Financial Secretary.

Others returned elected by the Returning Officer, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, were Stella Effah-Attoe as National Woman Leader; Kamaldeen Ajibade as National Legal Adviser; Debo Ologunagba as National Publicity Secretary and Okechukwu Daniel as National Auditor.

Also elected were Setonji Kosheodo as Deputy National Secretary; Ndubisi David as Deputy National Treasurer; Ibrahim Abdullahi as Deputy National Publicity Secretary and Ighoyota Amori as Deputy National Organising Secretary,

Adamu Kamale was elected the Deputy National Financial Secretary; Hajara Wanka as Deputy National Woman Leader; Timothy Osadolor as Deputy National Youth Leader, Okechukwu Osuoha as Deputy National Legal Adviser and Albdulraman Mohammed as Deputy National Auditor.

Hundreds of party delegates participated in the election of the new national officers at the Eagle Square in Abuja.

“Very significantly is for me to have the privilege as the Chief Returning Officer of the 2021 PDP National Convention Election Chairman to announce and declare His Excellency, Senator (Dr) Iyorchia Ayu as duly elected and returned National Chairman of our great party,” said Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State while announcing the results of the elections.

Shortly after he was announced as the new chairman, Senator Ayu walked downed to the podium in company with some governors in the party to give a brief remark.

“I want to sincerely appreciate the PDP family,” the elated new chairman said. “Today is simply a thank you address. When we started this party 23 – 24 years ago, we never in any way imagined that the journey will get us to this stage – a stage where we ruled for 16 years, we went into rough times but for anybody who will bother to see, PDP is back.

“And it is back to rescue Nigeria from the terrible mess we have been in the last six years. I want to appreciate all of you who have taken time as delegates, as observers, as supporters, as members of the media, as members of the security services, who have made this event such a wonderful event.”