A candidate backed by Rivers state Governor Nyeom Wike has won the People’s Democratic Party chairmanship. Uche Secondus has emerged as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) the major opposition party in Nigeria after he defeated three other aspirants with over 2000 votes.
His close contender Prof. Tunde Adeniran polled 230 votes, Raymond Dokpesi scored 66 votes while Taoheed Adedoja nil vote.
Meanwhile, Umar Ibrahim has won as National Secretary of the party with 1549 votes to beat Abubakar Mustapha who scored 371 votes and Nenadi Usman who got 287 votes.
Also, Senator Gamawa Babawo Garba has been announced as the winner for Deputy National Chairman (North ) 1316 votes to beat six other contenders.
Five aspirants have earlier withdrawn from the Chairmanship race which includes; Bode George, Jimi Agbaje, Gbenga Daniel, Rasheed Ladoja and Remi Olusegun.
Raymond Dokpesi and Prof. Tunde Adeniran who earlier walked out of the convention ground have rejected the results and called for its cancellation following the series of allegations of bribery of delegates and irregularities. They described the process as unfair.
They stated that delegates were given a list of candidates to support and that the organizers of the convention had become helpless.
Others contestants, apart from Chief Olabode George, announced their withdrawal from the race shortly before the commencement of the exercise.
George said on Friday at a press briefing that he was withdrawing due to the refusal of the party to micro-zone the office of the national chairman to the South-West.
The party had zoned the office to the entire southern part of the country, while it also ceded the presidential ticket to the northern region.
However, while there were seven aspirants from the South-West Zone, only two showed interest from the South-South.
Others from the South-West included Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Chief Gbenga Daniel, Mr. Jimi Agbaje and Aderemi Olusegun.
All the aspirants except Ladoja, Dokpesi and Secondus eventually contested the election.
Ladoja told one of our correspondents that he was still consulting and would speak on the outcome of the convention soon.
“I’m consulting and will speak soon. We need to study its outcome before making any pronouncements,” he said.
Meanwhile, Adeniran, a former Minister of Education, has called on the national leadership of the party to hand over the affairs of the party to its Board of Trustees.
Adeniran stated this after he walked out of the Eagle Square in company with his supporters to protest the outcome of the national convention.
The Director of Media and Publicity of the Adeniran Campaign Organisation, Taiwo Akeju, who spoke on behalf of the former minister, rejected the entire electoral process.
He urged the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee to hand over the party to the BoT in order to conduct “a credible election.”
Akeju said, “We reject the entire electoral process of December 9, 2017. The election was grossly compromised to achieve a predetermined end in line with the illegal ‘Unity List’ prepared by Governors Nyesom Wike and Ayodele Fayose and foisted on the entire delegates.
“Consequently, we submit that this election is a sham and its result is unacceptable. We reject it in its entirety.
“We consider this so-called election as a travesty of democracy and due process, which further entrenches the culture of impunity that has done a great damage to the party in the past.”
Fayose asks losers to accept defeat in good faith
The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has asked those who contested the PDP national chairmanship seat but lost to Secondus, to accept defeat in good faith.
Fayose also said he had no regret, canvassing support for aspirants on the list.
He insisted that some people kicked against the list because they did not win the election.
He said, “Anyone who will contest the result of this election at the court of law is an enemy of the party. It is not good to be a bad loser. If you did not win, just take it in good faith and support the winner”
PDP stops Sheriff’s man from contesting
A former National Auditor of the Peoples Democratic Party, Fatai Adeyanj said on Saturday that he was disqualified from running for the office of the national treasurer of the party.
Adeyanju was also prevented from accessing the Eagle Square, venue of the party’s national convention.
He was disqualified from the race because of his alleged inability to present his tax clearance.
Adeyanju, who was a close ally of a former National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, remained outside the venue, hours into the exercise.
He later told journalists that the committee set up by the party for the convention deliberately screened him out.
He alleged that Governor Fayose was responsible for the treatment meted out to him.
He said, “The party’s screening committee rejected my tax clearance certificate even though the document remained valid until December 2017.
“The party also said that I didn’t have a voter card, but I tendered my valid voter card before the committee.
“You can see the original copy of my valid tax certificate and my voter card. All efforts to make the screening committee see reason proved abortive.”
Apart from being close to Sheriff, Adeyanju and the then National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo, were allies of Senator Buruji Kashamu.
Both Sheriff and Kashamu are considered as enemies of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee.
“When there are divisions in the leadership, people follow different groups or individuals. But when the crisis gets resolved, we should all be allowed to join the winning group without victimisation,” Adeyanju said.
He promised to go to court to seek redress after the convention.
-Additional report from Punch