We Should Proffer Solutions To Nigeria’s Challenges, Atiku Says In Acceptance Speech

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, says his party should work towards addressing the numerous challenges facing the country.

He stated this in his acceptance speech at PDP’s National Convention on Sunday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

“We have enumerated a number of challenges facing this country,” he said. “What we should now do in the next phase of our electioneering campaign is to proffer solutions to these challenges we have identified conflicting our country and its people.”

According to Atiku, Nigerians are yearning for a change of leadership in 2019, as they were not happy with the current administration.

He promised that the party under his leadership would not fail the citizens whom he said “had years of prosperity of unity, of security and of development” when the PDP was at the helm of affairs at the federal level.

“We cannot afford to fail Nigerians at this very historic moment, because Nigerians are yearning for the return of PDP to power because they have now compared the administration of PDP and that of APC. They know that under PDP, they had years of prosperity of unity, of security and of development.

“This is what will make us completely different as a party from the clueless government of the APC. By the time we start electioneering campaign, I believe Nigerians will yearn for our return till we do so,” he added.

While thanking other members of the party for their commitment to democratic principles, he warned that PDP should not be intoxicated by power come next year.

Mr. Abubakar also paid tribute to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and other PDP leaders.

The former vice president commended his fellow contestants “for displaying a sense of unity, a sense of purpose and a sense of commitment.”

In paying tribute to Mr. Wike and the government and people of Rivers State, Mr. Abubakar said, “We look forward to working with you (Rivers state governor and people) so that our party can be returned to power in the next election.”

He said he and the PDP leaders “cannot afford to fail Nigerians at this very moment.”

PDP National Convention: Full List Of Elected Officials

Two years and nine months after it lost its 16-year-long grip on power at the Federal level, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday elected officials that will lead it in the quest to wrest power back from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

It has been a long trouble-fraught road for the PDP to get to this point after the APC swept to victory in 2015, and Saturday’s election was not without controversy.

Two of the chairmanship candidates – former Minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran, and Daar Communications Founder, Raymond Dokpesi have condemned the election, insisting it was fraudulent.

Despite their complaints, elected officials were sworn in at about 3:30 am on Sunday morning.

Here is the list of winners as declared by former Benue State Governor, Mr Gabriel Suswam, who served as chairman of the electoral committee:

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.

Secondus Serves APC ‘Quit Notice’ After Emerging As PDP National Chairman

The newly sworn-in National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Uche Secondus, has started his time as the leader of the opposition party by attacking the All Progressive Congress, especially the foundation on which it was built.

Mr Secondus, who was declared the winner of the PDP’s chairmanship election at about 3:30 am on Sunday morning and sworn in shortly after, used his acceptance speech to verbally serve the APC a ‘quit notice’, vowing to lead his party back to power in 2019.

“Let me assure you great members and leaders of our party, that by the grace of God and with all hands on deck, the brief tenancy of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Aso Rock Villa expires on May 28, 2019. By this, we serve them a quit notice,” he said.

In launching his attack on the APC, the new PDP chairman turned to a quote by Dwight Eisenhower.

He said, “In the words of the 34th President of the United States of America Dwight Eisenhower, ‘If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power’.

“Judging from this, it is crystal clear to all Nigerians, that APC is not a political party, but a body hurriedly assembled to seize power without a clear-cut plan for governance.”

After taking his shot at the APC’s foundation, the PDP National Chairman argued that his party was founded on ideals that are “totally in tandem” with those of Nigeria’s founding fathers.

“Those founding fathers had in mind, a prosperous and lasting democracy as captured in the preamble of our constitution, clearly stating their desire for a free and egalitarian society,” he said.

“Even in our perceived failure of 2015, we chose to abide by our strong faith in democracy, willingly conceding power to opposition, thereby elevating the democratic status of Nigeria. We are true democrats.”

Although the PDP was swept out of power at the Federal level by the APC in 2015 after a 16-year rule, Mr Secondus is proud of its performance.
“I can, therefore, say without an iota of doubt that PDP’s contributions to the growth and sustenance of democracy in this country in the last 18 years remain unequalled,” he said.

Despite defending the PDP’s performance, Mr Secondus admitted that it was not above mistakes. And as he starts his mandate with the promise of leading the party back to power in 2019, he plans to achieve the objective by learning from the past.

“With your mandate, I assure you that all necessary steps will be taken to avoid a repeat of our past mistakes. Indeed, we have learnt our lessons and by this convention, we are now set to forge a new path for our great party and Nigeria,” he said.

“Under my watch, internal democracy will be strictly adhered to with a deliberate policy to return ‘real’ power to the people. No more imposition, no more impunity. Every member of this party can from this moment consider him or herself an equal shareholder in our common destiny.”

Away from the attacks and promises, the new PDP leader paid tribute to one of the founding fathers of the party, Nigeria’s first Vice President Dr Alex Ekwueme who died on November 19 at a London hospital aged 85.

He also welcomed back to the PDP a former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who dumped the APC on November 24 and returned to the PDP nine days later, on December 3.

Secondus also praised Adeniran and Dokpesi who contested against him for the national chairmanship seat, describing them as eminently qualified to lead the party for the role and thanking them for a “worthy contest”.

“You have every cause to stand tall and I now extend my hand of fellowship to you all. Let ‘Us’ rebuild, reposition and regain,” he said.

Adeniran and Dokpesi may not be so quick to extend a hand in return as both have criticised the electoral process, and expressed anger at the emergence of a ‘Unity List’ at the convention which purportedly contained a list of ‘unity candidates’.

The list, allegedly compiled by governors in the party, had Secondus’s name on it as the ‘unity candidate’.

Adeniran cited it as one of the reasons behind his decision to walk out of the convention ahead of the announcement of results, saying it was used to rig the election.

Beyond walking out of the convention, Adeniran has called for its cancellation.

Uche Secondus Elected As PDP National Chairman

Uche Secondus being sworn in as PDP’s National Chairman

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.

 

Adeniran Walks Out Of PDP Convention, Rejects Electoral Process

Ahead of the announcement of results at the ongoing elective national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, one of the National Chairmanship candidates, Professor Tunde Adeniran, has rejected the whole electoral process.

He denounced the electoral process, describing it as fraudulent and unfair.

The director of publicity to Adeniran, Mr Taiwo Akeju, told journalists at the Eagle Square in the nation’s capital, Abuja, where the convention is being held that his principal is against the use of a unity list, which he claims was used to rig the process.

Mr Akeju accused the governors of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, and his Ekiti State counterpart, Mr Ayodele Fayose, of influencing the process illegally and called for the cancellation of the election.

READ ALSO: ‘Unity List’ Causes Outrage At PDP’s National Convention

He said, “We reject the entire electoral process of December 9, 2017. The election has been grossly compromised to achieve a predetermined end in line with the illegal Unity List prepared by Governor Wike and Ayodele Fayose and foisted on the entire delegates.

“Consequently, we submit that this election is a sham and the result therefrom 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.

“Our position is also that this election should be cancelled and the entire leadership of the party should be handed over to the Board of Trustees which we regard as the conscience of the party, to organise a credible election for the party in due course”.

‘Unity List’ Causes Outrage At PDP’s National Convention

The appearance of a list of candidates entitled ‘Unity list’ has caused outrage at the ongoing elective National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

Allegedly compiled by governors, the list contains the various positions delegates are supposed to elect aspirants to fill. Besides each position is the name of the purported ‘unity’ candidate for the position.

A copy of the list seen by Channels Television shows that for the post of National Chairman, for instance, has the name of Uche Secondus who is from Rivers State in the South-South besides it.

For Deputy National Chairman, South, Yemi Akinwonmi from Ogun State in the South West is identified, while Senator Gamawa Babawo Garba from Bauchi State in the North West is marked for the position of Deputy National Chairman, North.

The emergence of the list has angered some delegates and Professor Tunde Adeniran and Raymond Dokpesi, the two candidates who were in the National Chairmanship race with Uche Secondus.

Around 9:40 pm, and ahead of the announcement of the results, Adeniran condemned the ‘Unity List’ and walked out of the convention in protest.

Adeniran’s camp accused the governors of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, and his Ekiti State counterpart, Mr Ayodele Fayose, of being behind the list and of trying to influence the electoral process illegally.

The director of publicity of the Adeniran campaign, Mr Taiwo Akeju, told journalists at the Eagle Square in the nation’s capital, Abuja, where the convention is being held that the list was used to rig the process.

He said, “We reject the entire electoral process of December 9, 2017. The election has been grossly compromised to achieve a predetermined end in line with the illegal Unity List prepared by Governor Wike and Ayodele Fayose and foisted on the entire delegates.

“Consequently, we submit that this election is a sham and the result therefrom 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.

“Our position is also that this election should be cancelled and the entire leadership of the party should be handed over to the Board of Trustees which we regard as the conscience of the party, to organise a credible election for the party in due course”.

Women Lose Out As PDP Amends Constitution

Hopes that women will get to play a more significant role in the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party suffered a setback on Saturday after the party rejected a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at women in the party.

Out of 13 amendments presented to delegates and party chiefs at the elective national convention in the Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, only one failed to scale through; section 29 (1)(b).

If passed, the provision would have made it mandatory for the PDP to have one female national chairman.

But the proposed amendment only got 917 favourable votes out of the required 1,416 votes. A total of 1,194 of the 2,124 delegates that voted said ‘No’ to it.

This decision means the National Woman Leader as the only female among the highest decision-making body of the party, the National Working Committee (NWC).

Despite rejecting plans for one of the party’s Deputy National Chairman to be a woman, the delegates approved amendments to Section 8 which deals with the process of rejoining the party.

Amendments to were also made to Section 50 on ‘waiver’, the preamble, Section 29 (1)(5) on the national vice chairman becoming members of the  National Working Committee, among others.

PDP Convention: Only One Candidate Withdrew In Anger – Wike


Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has said only one of those who withdrew from the Peoples Democratic Party’s National Chairmanship race did so out of anger.

Wike said this at the Eagles Square in Abuja on Saturday, during the ongoing PDP elective national convention.

The governor said, “In politics when you read the handwriting, you understand that this does not favour you, you find all excuses. I don’t know why they should be offended, they are not offended. Some people withdrew yesterday because you can tell what your chances are.

“Gbenga Daniel has withdrawn, he did not withdraw because he was angry. He said look, he wants a peace process, and he wants everybody to work together. Jimi Agbaje did the same thing.

“So I do not think anybody was offended, except one person that I heard was angry because the position was not micro-zoned.”

The governor explained that the party, having learnt lessons from its defeat in the 2015 general election and the protracted legal battle between the Alli-Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi factions, which emerged in the party after the defeat, has made them wax stronger.

As of Friday afternoon, there were nine candidates in the PDP’s chairmanship race. However, Chief Bode George withdrew from the race in protest later that day.

Five other candidates followed suit as the convention began, opting to support Professor Tunde Adeniran as the consensus candidate from the South West.

A former Lagos State governorship candidate, Mr Jimi Agbaje; a former Ogun State governor, Mr Gbenga Daniel; and a former Oyo State governor Rasheed Ladoja were among those who withdrew.

Others are Olusegun Aderemi and Taheed Adedoja.

The move left only three candidates in the race with Raymond Dokpesi (South-South) and Uche Secondus (South-South) taking on Adeniran.

Agbaje said the inability of the South-West PDP to pick a consensus candidate had affected the chances of the region to produce the next chairman.

In announcing his withdrawal, Daniel said he is willing to cooperate with anyone who emerged as the chairman of the party.

In a statement announcing Adeniran as the consensus candidate of the South West, Ladoja explained that the seven aspirants from the zone met on December 6, 7, 8 and 9 with the sole aim of agreeing on one candidate.

“We all agreed that the chances of one person winning are better than those of seven people who are likely to divide the votes coming to the zone,” he said.

 

PDP Convention: Governors Not Supporting One Candidate – Okowa

The Chairman of the PDP National Elective Convention Committee and Governor of Delta state, Mr Ifeanyi Okowa, has dismissed rumours that the Party’s governors have attempted to force a national chairman on the party.

According to him,”In most of the states, the convention delegates are already known” and the party will ensure it gives a level playing ground to all the aspirants.

He also expressed optimism that the party will be more united, following its upcoming convention on December 9.

He said as a result, the PDP will be a much stronger force to contend with in the 2019 presidential election.

Governor Okowa made this known on Channels Television’s Politics Today while addressing issues that have so far been raised as the convention date draws near.
He stressed that the party is doing everything possible to ensure a hitch-free convention

“I believe that the National caretaker committee of the party is doing a lot to ensure that things are put in place, as for the national planning committee that I lead, we were inaugurated this afternoon and we have held our inaugural meeting.

“We do know that in any elective convention, all kinds of views do come into play but our as a planning committee is to ensure that we deliver a convention that is credible and in which all the processes are such that will be blameless, we will deliver on a free fair and transparent primary; that is our aim.

“For the reconciliatory process we’ll be looking up to the party leadership to deal with that but our major task is for us to deliver a convention that is truly credible and all can attest to. That will enable us to heal faster, and unify faster after the convention.”

Reacting to reports that the Chairman of the electoral panel, who is also the former governor of Benue state, had declared support for a candidate, he said: “I’m not aware that he has declared support for any particular candidate but even if he has any sentiments for anyone, he will not be in a position at all, on the convention day to do anything that is unjust. We are going to adopt the open secret ballot system of voting.

“We have also put in place a credible team to ensure reconciliation of party members who may feel aggrieved going forward after the convention,” he added.
Speaking further and reacting to the defection of a former Head of State, Atiku Abubakar, to the PDP, Governor Okowa noted that there is strength in numbers and that the party will always welcome as many persons as possible.

“We believe that as many persons that come into the PDP is good for us because it will help to strengthen the party because politics is one that is inclusive – the more persons you get into the party, the greater the strength of the party – So we will welcome him into the party just as we will look forward to many more persons who will want to come over to join us as a family it will be a welcome idea because it will help to strengthen us going into `2019.

Responding to whether or not he believes the party was ready to take over power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), he said: “Our party is building much stronger and this convention definitely is going to lift us up into the future, I believe so because this convention is purely conciliatory and unifying and we believe that the resource will lead us strongly into the future.”

Power Politics Of Governors Caused PDP Crisis – George Eke

Gorge-Eke-PDPA member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr George Eke, has attributed the crisis in the party to the power politics of the PDP governors.

Mr Eke, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme on Tuesday, believed that the influence behind the crisis was internal and not external.

“The influence is internal. It is the power politics of governors who want to show that they are in charge (and) who want to take over the party,” he said.

Influence Of The Governors

However, the lawyer said although the influence of the governors could not be removed, they could be made to realise that “the PDP belongs to everyone”.

“You cannot remove the influence of the governors because the governors are members of the party and once they are incumbent governors, they control some votes (and) they control some influence.

“We cannot say we could do without the governors but we can whittle their influence.

“We can tell the governors that the party belongs to every other person inclusive of the governors,” he said on Sunrise Daily.

Mr Eke also gave his opinion on how the forthcoming PDP convention in Abuja could resolve the crisis rocking the party since May.

“The only way it (the convention) can resolve the crisis is if we do not look at one group as a bad group.

“If you continue to see him (Senator Ali Modu Sheriff) as a bad guy, you never can resolve this problem,” he stated.

The PDP member insisted that Senator Sheriff must be absorbed into the party, citing an instance where he added live to the party when “PDP was in toxic”.

Crisis in the PDP began after top leadership of the party at a convention in Port Harcourt in May removed the chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and set up a Caretaker Committee led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

After his removal, Senator Sheriff continued to parade himself as the leader of the party, insisting that a court had asked the party not to hold the convention.

While both Senator Makarfi and Senator Sheriff continue to lay claims to the leadership of the party, different courts at different times have ruled in favour of both men as the leaders of the party.

PDP NEC Adopts Ekweremadu Post-Election Committee’s Report

pdpThe National Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has adopted the Senator Ike Ekweremadu post-election committee’s report and has fixed December for the party’s national convention.

Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, announced the adoption and the proposed date for the convention at the NEC meeting in Abuja.

According to him, the solution to the party’s problems lies in the adoption and implementation of the committee’s report.

It was the first National Executive Committee’s meeting of the PDP after the general elections.

In his welcome address, the Acting Chairman of the party noted that for the party to regain power in 2019, the post elections committee’s report must be adopted and implemented.

The Ekweremadu committee had recommended that the party’s presidential candidate be zoned to the North and also urged the party’s leadership to embark on massive biometric registration of members across the country.

While some leaders of the party believed that in addition to the recommendations, structural issues within the party should also be addressed before the 2019 elections, others expressed confidence that the party would clinch power from the Ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019.