Two years and nine months after the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) now has 21 new national officers that will pilot its affairs in the next four years 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.
The development implies that barring any unforeseen circumstances, the new officers of the National Working Committee (NWC) will lead the party to the 2019 general election, which is exactly 432 days away.
According to the PDP Constitution, NWC is in charge of the day-to-day running of the party.
The national officers are the same as those contained in the controversial ‘Unity List’ in circulation at the convention venue, Eagles Square Abuja, said to have been approved by the PDP governors and distributed to delegates.
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.