The Intrigues, Horse-trading that Paved Way for Secondus

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The election of Mr.Uche Secondus new national chairman of the PDP yesterday came with a lot of intrigues and horse trading resulting in some of the aspirants withdrawing from the race. First it was the disagreement among the stakeholders of the PDP in the South over micro zoning. Before the 2016 botched national convention of the party, the southern leaders of the party had met in Port Harcourt to draw up a micro zoning arrangement that ceded the national chairman’s seat to the South-west.

However, following the legal tussle that ensued over the legality of the convention, all efforts to hold fresh convention by the party failed and the matter dragged on until July this year when the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the national caretaker committee to end the leadership crisis. However with the fixing of a new date for the national convention, party stakeholders from the South-west expected that the South would be guided by the previous micro zoning arrangement and that the zone would be allowed to produce the chairman. But that was not the case as other zones – the South-south and South-east did not agree to it. Since there was no mutual agreement on the matter, the contest for the chairmanship seat became open to all aspirants from the South.

It was on this basis that the former acting national chairman, Uche Secondus; and the founder of DAAR Communications Plc, Raymond Dokpesi; joined the race along with seven other aspirants from the South-west. The aspirants from the South-west were Chief Bode George, Jimi Agbaje, Rashidi Ladoja, Gbenga Daniel, Taoheed Adedoja and Olusegun Aderemi.

Most of the South-west aspirants protested to the PDP leadership concerning its inability to enforce micro zoning of positions zoned to the South. Under the circumstance, some of the South-west aspirants decided to reach out to the northern states for strategic alliance. Their lobby yielded fruit when a group of northern PDP elders met and took a decision to support aspirants from the South-west zone for the chairmanship contest. While the controversy over micro zoning was going on, Uche Secondus was perfecting alliance with the states in the South-east that could give him block votes. His calculations was that the zone has large number of delegates which would swing victory for him.

Secondus also relied on the enormous influence of his state governor, Nyesom Wike, to lobby to win more support for his candidacy.

The disaffection created by the failure to micro zone the position was not entirely laid to rest before the convention was held. So it was not surprising that the matter still reared its head again when on the eve of the convention of the frontline aspirants, George addressed the media announcing his withdrawal from the race.

George expressed displeasure over what he described as failure of the party and its leaders to uphold the practiced micro zoning. He also accused Governor Wike of insulting the South West by saying they have not contributed much to the PDP to warrant their insistence on occupying the national chairmanship position. Following the withdrawal of George from the race, other five aspirants from the zone followed suit by pulling out of the race as well. Although not stated, many believed that these aspirants may have been aggrieved by what they perceived as unfair treatment and decided to pull out.

Prior to voting, a list tagged ‘Unity list’ containing names of candidates said to have been endorsed by the party to win their offices, was circulated. Top on the unity list was Secondus. By the time votes were tallied in the early hours of Sunday, he had emerged the new chairman of the party

  • Daniel Obior

    There goes PDP again, ending this all important convention not only in discord, but hurting the Southwest which was principally responsible for its loss of the last election. Will they ever learn? More ought to be done to court the Southwest, if it ever hopes to reverse its last bitter experience.

    • Ofuzo

      Relax. That was on purpose. My man fayose is going to be vice presidential candidate, so it wouldn’t be fair to other zones if the South West is allowed to take two of the top three positions in the party.

      • Daniel Obior

        First of all, I am relaxed. Secondly, there is the talk to zone the vice president to the Southeast, given that it is only the SE has not had a president or vice president among the three zones of the south, since 1999. It may not be that straight forward.

        • Ofuzo

          That will be DUMB, don’t you think. With a South East guy as a vice to a northerner and a South West guy also a vice to another northerner; who do you think the South West people are going to vote for?

          • Daniel Obior

            Ekweme was vice president to a northerner, was he not? Today, Osinbajo is vice president to another northerner, isn’t he? It is more dumb to call those prospects dumb. Politics is not an exact science. It was a dumb idea to put Buhari forward after he had lost three times. But see what happened. Never say never.

          • Ofuzo

            Please reason before you comment plus you didn’t answer my question on how the South West will vote given an option of one of their own versus an igbo man in the vice presidential slot. It was you that was worried how South West will vote this time around if they feel mistreated or marginalised. Right.

          • Nu Miracle

            In 1999, a Yoruba was a candidate for the PDP. His name is Olusegun Obasanjo. Igbos and Yorubas of APP as AD formed an alliance to allow another Yoruba called Olu False to fly a joint ticket to challenge PDP’s Olusegun Obasanjo. Look what happened. The Yorubas rejected Obasanjo and PDP and voted en masse for False. But, False lost regardless.

            Funny enough, as soon as Obasanjo won all Yorubas accepted him and his regime became an almost Yoruba government. By 2003, many Yorubas in AD had decamped to PDD, where the “food was ready.” Again, as Obasanjo was leaving office in 2007, all those decampees to PPD jumped ship, yet again, to AD, which morphed into AC and later ACN. Look where they are now. Is it not APC. Check some of these names: Olagunsoye Oyinola, Segun Oni, Ayo Arise, Muslim Oban I Koro, and more. Two years ago, these names were thick in PDP affairs dinning with President Jonathan.

            It is because of the inconsistencies that forces in the current PDP thought that the Yorubas have never sacrificed for the party and should not be given prominence or allowed to get a head start over others, since they have been very active everywhere, except the PDD. But, that is pragmatic politics, which often rewards total loyalty.

          • Nu Miracle

            Excuse the typos, please!

          • Daniel Obior

            Why would you resort to insulting me because of a difference in opinion? Please be warned that I can also resort to insulting you, and I am sure you will not like it. Your insulting reply deserves no further comment from me.

          • Ofuzo

            Can you state kindly state exactly what I said in my post that insulted you?

          • Daniel Obior

            “Please reason before you comment ….”, is insulting. That you started the sentence with the word please does not change anything.

          • Ofuzo

            Come on men, how can you take that as an insult? Anyway, I was taken aback by your suggestion that the PDP should nominate an igboman as vice presidential candidate and expect yorobas to vote for them (PDP) when there’s already a yoroba vice presidential candidate for APC. That doesn’t make any sense, don’t you think, especially since you were the one lamenting that the yoroba nation should not be sidelined.

          • Daniel Obior

            Being a moron, you do not consider it an insult because you are not at the receiving end. Secondly, why don’t you learn to read and comprehend before shooting from the hip? My statement said “Secondly, there is the talk to zone the vice president to the Southeast,…,”. How does that translate to ” my suggestion”, as you are stupidly claiming? Which of the two of us is the one not reasoning? Do learn to comport yourself.

          • Ofuzo

            Ooooooh shut the fuck up. I didn’t know I was dealing with a DUMB SUCKER.

          • Daniel Obior

            Obviously you have lost it. You are the one always demanding answers. Why can’t you answer the simple question I asked? Lunatic.