AFTER a notable development that seems to back President Jonathan’s recent claim that the PDP is Nigeria’s most disciplined party, the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party is breathing a sigh of
relief, amid hearty congratulations, over the party’s weekend congresses that have emerged mostly peaceful across the country.
In Kaduna, the congress went peacefully as PDP faithful returned all candidates by consensus, prompting Vice President Namadi Sambo to declare that “the PDP is the most organized party not only in Nigeria but the entire Africa.”
Sambo told party faithful gathered at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Complex, Kaduna, that the PDP would continue to grow from strength to strength as it has been tried and tested in the current democratic dispensation and found to be an open and transparent party run on internal democratic tenets.
Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga Audu was elected unopposed as the new PDP chairman in Kaduna State.
Similarly, Governor Godswill Akpabio at the weekend observed that the PDP congress held in Uyo was conducted in line with the constitution and guideline of the PDP. All candidates who stood in the congress were ratified by the party faithful.
In Akwa Ibom, the new PDP chairman is Mr. Paul Ekpo, a former commissioner in the state. Others are: Ibanga Akpabio, secretary; Odudu Ukpe, assistant secretary II; Deaconess Owoidiehe Ekpoatai, treasurer; Akan Antai, financial secretary; Aniekan Uko, organising secretary; Women Leader, Mrs. Gloria Effiong; and Emmanuel Ekpenyong, youth leader.
Also, members of the PDP in Kwara State at the weekend re-elected the leadership of the party in the state by affirmation.
Contestants for the election were all consensus candidates as only one name appeared for each post in the polls. Thus, they were all affirmed by the 781 delegates in attendance.
Speaking at the event, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed said the principle of consensus laid down by leaders of the party had made PDP stronger and united in Kwara.
In a rancour-free congress held in Akure, the state capital, PDP members have elected a new executive council to pilot the affairs of the party in Ondo State.
Of the 28-member executive, only the position of the chairman was contested as party leaders had earlier agreed on consensus candidates for other posts that were zoned to the state’s three senatorial districts.
The success of the exercise seemed to have laid to rest the leadership crisis rocking the party in Ondo, particularly among some of its leaders in the Central Senatorial District who have been accused by other party members of acting the script of the ruling Labour Party (LP) to undermine the unity of the PDP.
Former Governor Olusegun Agagu, who read the list of the consensus candidates to resounding applause from party faithful, however disclosed that no agreement was reached on the position of chairman and that the position would be contested for.
After the open ballot election supervised by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others from the PDP National Secretariat, former Chairman of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) put in place to end the party’s crisis in the state, Ebenezer Alabi, emerged victorious with over 500 votes.
In Taraba, three chairmanship aspirants – Audu Yusuf Wukari, Tukur Sambo and Adamu Danladi – allegedly stepped down for the consensus candidate, Victor Bala Kona. However, none of the aspirants was at the congress held at the Jolly Nyame Stadium, Jalingo, prompting some party faithful to alleged candidate imposition at the congress.
But Kona denied the allegation that he was imposed on the party, stating that he was motivated to join the race by his political associates.
Chairman, PDP Delta State, Peter Nwaoboshi and Secretary, Solomon Ogba, were returned unopposed in the party’s congress held in Asaba at the weekend to fill the 29-man executive body.
The duo’s return was reportedly ironed out last month at a meeting of the party’s chieftains in the state who agreed to the consensus arrangement.
Stressing that the party members must stick to the consensus principle, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, said: “Anyone that moves against what has been put in place today may be moving against a mighty force. The success of today’s congress is a result of the hard work that has been done underground. Factionalisation cannot be forever. Many involved themselves in divide and rule tactics to truncate the prevailing peace in the party such that Delta topped the list of crisis-prone state chapters of the party at the national headquarters. We will no longer pay attention to the Judas among us to avoid distraction.”
The Delta congress saw the return to the PDP of Chief Peter Okocha, the governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress (AC) and Chief Ovie Omo-Agege, the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) who both dumped the PDP in the wake of the 2007 and 2011 elections.
Also, Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe and the aggrieved wife of the former National Chairman of the PDP, Mrs. Nneamaka Ali, may have reconciled with Uduaghan as they participated in the congress.
In a last-minute tinkering with the consensus arrangement, the six-year reign of the PDP in Cross River State, Ekpo Okon, came to an end at the weekend as he was replaced by Ntufam John Okon, a former clerk of the state House of Assembly.
The change came as a surprise to party faithful as sources said all arrangements on ground was for Ekpo to retain his post until Friday night when “things changed.”
The Deputy Chairman, Peter Ojie, was also replaced by former chairman of Yala Local Council, Fidel Egoro, while Mr. Godwin Eta, an erstwhile chairman of Yakurr, replaced Mr. Gabe Oji as party secretary.
Most of the former 24-member executive council in the state did not make it back. The candidates elected into the posts ran unopposed.
A new PDP chairman has emerged in Osun State. He is Alhaji Gani Olaoluwa.
Olaoluwa won the party’s congress with 574 votes as against 490 votes scored by his closest rival, Mr. Kayode Idowu.
- Report culled from The Guardian.