After months of bickering, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is getting its groove back; but will have to contend with the anger of some prominent member from the South-West following the emergence of its former deputy chairman, Uche Secondus, as its new national chairman. He was coating to an indisputable victory this morning.
Though the defeat of those who lost from the South-West geo-political zone appeared self-inflicted by the sheer number that were qualified to contest (six out nine), the governors of the party, eleven of them, but with Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers and Ayo Fayose from Ekiti at the fore-front, sealed the coffin of the zone for the headship of the opposition party.
Reconciliation in the next few weeks will have to be aggresive and “costly” to save the party in the South-West, where it already lost ground to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), courtesy of the political dexterity, and, some say, financial muscle, of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
If the much-rumoured new mega-party, which foundations have been alleged laid, invisibly to the untrained eye, does not take-off to encompass many prominent names from the APC and PDP, then the ruling party will take the zone, again.
Except, of course, according to political analysts, the Vice Presidential ticket is handed the zone to a respected Yoruba son.
Some others that appeared to be emerging from the PDP’s elective delegates convention (believed to be on an alleged Governors and Elders’ Unity List) are:
*DEPUTY NAT. CHAIR. SOUTH: ELDER YEMI AKINWONMI
*DEP. NAT. CHAIRMAN NORTH: SEN. GAMAWA BABAWA GARBA
*NATIONALSECRETARY SENATOR IBRAHIM TSAURI
*DEPUTY NAT. SECRETARY: DR. AGBO EMMANUEL
*NATIONAL TREASURER: HON. ARIBISALA ADEWALE
*PUBLICITY SECRETARY: KOLA OLOGBONDIYAN
Stringest South-West contender, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, left the convention before 10PM Saturday, claiming undue influence and alleged stuffing of ballot boxes.
Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, also alleged irregularities and malpractices, though he stood no chance of getting anywhere.
The Director of Media of Adeniran’s Campaign Organization, Mr. Taiwo Akeju said Saturday: ”We reject the entire electoral process. The election has been grossly compromised to achieve a predetermined end. The illegal unity list was prepared by Governors Wike and Ayodele Fayose to foist on the entire delegates.
“Consequently, we submit that this election is a sham and the result therefore is unacceptable and rejected in its entirety.
“We consider this so-called election as a travesty of democracy and due ?process, which further entrenches the unwholesome culture of impunity that has done a great deal of damage to the party? in the past.”
“Our candidate, Prof. Adeniran and his supporters have just walked out of the convention because the election was a sham.
“The PDP governors came up with Unity List and they and their foot soldiers were forcing delegates to vote for those on the list.
“We were shocked to witness open stuffing of ballot boxes and replacement of boxes against our candidate. The election was not free and fair, it was a sad day for democracy in Nigeria.”
Also embittered was former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Olanrewaju Suleiman, who claims his name on the ballot was tweaked to deny him votes.
His words in a letter of protest: “I am constrained to write to demand for cancelation of election into the office of National Publicity Secretary of our great Party in the on-going Elective Party Convention on the ground of unlawful exclusion of my name as one of candidates contesting for the above mentioned post of Party.
“I am one of the candidates of the above mentioned post in the ongoing elective party convention having obtained application form, duly screened and my candidacy approved to stand for the election.
“I have also campaigned across the Nation seeking the support of the bonafide delegates to the convention.
“To my chagrin and utter constellation, I was informed that my name was conspicuously missing from the list of candidates vying for the post of National Publicity Secretary which lists were pasted in booths earmarked for voting into the office of National Publicity Secretary.
“My names are Prof Abubakar Olanrewaju Suleiman, with Suleiman as my surname, a name I have borne and by which I am known by all and sundry. Needless to say this is the name by which I am identify by my teeming supporters who where unlawfully disenfranchised. Suffice to mention that at no time did I hold myself out to bear other name without any other name but ABUBAKAR OLANREWAJU SULEIMAN, Olanrewaju merely being my middle name.
“I therefore pray that the august body would do right by me by cancelling the purported election of today…”