By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Candidates on the ‘unity list’ led by Uche Secondus swept all the elective posts at the National Convention of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Abuja early Sunday.
Secondus was the former acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). His name topped the list in circulation since Friday.
He scored 2,000 votes out of 2,396 votes cast at the party’s national convention, which ended in the early hours of Sunday at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
Chairman of the Electoral Sub-Committee of the convention and former Governor of Benue, Gabriel Suswam, announced the results and said that the election for chairmanship position was keenly contested by four candidates.
“In this contest, nine gentlemen indicated their interests to contest, but here, four of them sent letters of withdrawal and so four were left.
“The other ones we were told have withdrawn but there was no letter to that effect.
“The four gentlemen that contested were Uche Secondus, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Founder of Daar Communications; Prof. Tunde Adeniran, former Education Minister and Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, former Minister of Sports and Special Duties.
“Secondus scored 2,000 votes; Dokpesi, 66; Adeniran, 230 while Adedoja scored no vote,” Suswam said.
No fewer than seven chairmanship candidates, who sensed that the election outcome had been pre-arranged by some governors, withdrew from the contest.
The candidates that withdrew were Chief Bode George, former Deputy National Chairman; Gbenga Daniel, Rasheed Ladoja, erstwhile Governors of Ogun and Oyo States, respectively, and Jimi Agbaje, PDP governorship candidate in Lagos State in 2015 elections.
Professor Tunde Adeniran and Raymond Dokpesi, who remained in the race rejected the outcome of the election, ahead of the voting, warning about the consequences to the party.
Other elected officers on the ‘unity list’ were Sen. Babayo Garmawa, Deputy National Chairman (North); Mr Yemi Akinwunmi, Deputy National Chairman (South); Sen. Umar Tsauri, National Secretary and Mr Agbo Emmanuel, Deputy National Secretary. Retired Col. Austin Akinbundu is new National Organising Secretary, Yakubu Hassan, Deputy National Organizing Secretary; Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary and Diran Odeyemi, Deputy National Publicity Secretary. Mr Abdullahi Maibasira emerged National Financial Secretary, Irona Gerald, Deputy National Financial Secretary; Aribisala Adewale, National Treasurer; Wada Masu, Deputy National Treasurer; Adamu Mustapha, National Auditor and Arong Divine, Deputy National Auditor.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mariya Umar was elected National Women Leader, Umoru Hadiza, Deputy National Women Leader, and Emmanuel Enoidem, National Youth Leader.
The Chairman of the Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Delta, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, commended the Election Sub-Committee for “job well done”.
He also commended all the candidates and delegates who participated in elections and party leaders and members for cooperation that ensured the success of the convention.