Sunday, December 10, 2017 6:08 am
As predicted, Prince Uche Secondus early Sunday morning emerged the national chairman of Nigeria’s biggest opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP at
CHANNELS TV reports that Secondus polled 2,000 votes to be declared winner of the election at the National Convention of the party which began on Saturday in Abuja.
His rivals, Professor Tunde Adeniran, and Chief Raymond Dokpesi got 230 and 66 votes respectively in the election.
Secondus was thus declared winner of the election by the immediate past Governor of Benue State, Mr Gabriel Suswam, who is the Chairman of the Electoral Committee
Chairman of the Electoral Sub-Committee of the convention and former Governor of Benue, Gabriel Suswan, 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“The other ones we were told have withdrawn but there was no letter to that effect.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,” Suswan said.
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.
But the victory of Secondus has been trailed by protests and allegations of fraud.
Indeed, Professor Adeniran and some of his supporters left the Eagle Square some minutes after 9 pm in protest against the adoption of the Unity List and compelling of delegates to vote for those on the list.
His grouse was over the circulation of a ‘unity list’ which contained names of aspirants favoured for the 21 positions contested for in the national convention to the delegates before the commencement of the election.
Secondus was listed as the ‘favoured candidate’ for the chairmanship position in the ‘unity list.’
Taiwo Akeju, Director, Media and Publicity of the Adeniran Campaign Organisation accused Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers and his Ekiti counterpart, Ayodele Fayose, of being the masterminds of the unity list distributed to the delegates.
“We reject the entire electoral process. The election has been grossly compromised to achieve a predetermined end.
“The illegal unity list is prepared by governors Wike and Fayose to foist on the entire delegates” he said.
Akeju, however, called on the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the party to takeover the affairs of the party until proper election would be conducted since the National Caretaker Committee has been dissolved.
The rejection of the unity list by the frontline chairmanship candidates was done before the final collation of the elections results.
Also Chief Dokpesi said he rejected the outcome of the elections following alleged distribution of a “so-called unity list” to delegates, describing it as a charade that may destroy the party.
According to him, the process of voting had been rigged following the distribution of the list, which contained names of candidates believed to have won elections into various positions in the party at the convention.
The media mogul noted that the 21 names of candidates contained in the list appeared on the ballot papers as number one and in the voting boots as number one.
Dokpesi said that complaints were lodged to the Chairman of the Convention Electoral Committee, Mr Gabriel Suswam, who confirmed that he had seen the list with some delegates but that he was overwhelmed.
Dokpesi who said it was unfortunate that a party which was just getting out of a major leadership crisis would be involved in acts of impunity and election malpractice noted that the issue may became another major challenge in the party ahead of the 2019 general elections.