A former acting Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Uche Secondus, has emerged as the party’s National Chairman, ending its long and troubled quest to elect leaders after it suffered defeat in the 2015 Presidential election.
Mr Secondus defeated a former Minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran, Founder of Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi, as well as a Former Minister of Sports and Special Duties, Taoheed Adedoja, in a controversial election at its national convention which commenced on Saturday at the Eagles Square in Abuja.
The results of the elections, announced by the immediate past Governor of Benue State and Chairman of the electoral committee, Mr Gabriel Suswam, showed that Secondus polled 2,000 votes, compared to the 231 votes secured by Professor Adeniran and the 66 votes that went to Dokpesi in the election.
Shortly after he was declared the winner of the election, around 3:30 am on Sunday, Mr Secondus was sworn in.
Twenty other elected officials were sworn in right after that, ensuring that there was no vacuum in the party’s leadership as the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee was dissolved ahead of the elections.
The election has, however, been condemned by both of his challengers as fraudulent with Professor Adeniran calling for its cancellation.
It wasn’t long after voting commenced that the process turned controversial. A ‘Unity List’ allegedly compiled by governors and which was circulated to some delegates led to discontent and allegations of fraud.
The list contained the names of purported ‘unity candidates’ identified for delegates to vote, a development which Adeniran and Dokpesi said amounted to rigging.
Although Adeniran walked out of the convention in protest, the process continued.
All of the candidates that were declared victorious in the election and subsequently sworn in were on the ‘Unity List’.
See the winners as declared by Suswam below:
1. National Chairman – Uche Secondus (Rivers, South-South).
2. Deputy National Chairman, South – Yemi Akinwonmi (Ogun, South West); unopposed.
3. Deputy National Chairman, North – Senator Gamawa Babawo Garba (Bauchi, North East); defeated six others.
4. National Secretary – Senator Umaru Ibrahim Tsauri (Katsina, North-West); defeated others
5. Deputy National Secretary – Emmanuel Agbo (Benue, North Central); defeated four others
6. National Organising Secretary – Austin Akobundu (Abia, South East); defeated two others
7. Deputy National Organising Secretary – Hassan Yakubu (Nasarawa, North Central); unopposed
8. National Publicity Secretary – Kola Ologbondiyan (Kogi, North Central); defeated four others
9. Deputy National Publicity Secretary – Diran Odeyemi (Osun, South West); defeated two others
10. National Financial Secretary – Abdullahi Husseini Maibasara (Niger, North Central)
11. Deputy National Financial Secretary – Irona Alphonsus Gerald (Imo, South-East); defeated on contestant
12. National Treasurer – Aribisala Adewale (Ekiti, South-West); unopposed
13. Deputy National Treasurer – Wada Masu (Kano, North West); defeated one contestant
14. Deputy National Auditor – Miss Amina Arong (Cross River, South-South); unopposed
15. National Auditor – Adamu Mustafa (Yobe, North East); unopposed
16. National Women Leader Mariya Waziri (Kebbi, North West); defeated one contestant.
17. Deputy National Women Leader – Umoru Hadizat (Edo, South-South); defeated three others.
18. National Youth Leader Udeh Okoye (Enugu State, South East); defeated three others.
19. Deputy National Youth Leader – Umar Babangida Maina (Adamawa, North East); defeated Yahaya Salisu
20. National Legal Adviser – Emmanuel Enoidem (Akwa Ibom, South-South); defeated two others.
21. Deputy National Legal Adviser – Ahmed Bello Liman (Sokoto, North West); Unopposed.
Nine candidates had been in the National Chairmanship race as of Friday evening, seven from the South West and two – Secondus and Dokpesi – from the South-South.
Six of the candidates from the South-West, however, pulled out of the race starting late on Friday with a former National Deputy Chairman of the party, Bode George.
Before the election commenced, Professor Adeniran became the sole candidate from the South West.