Don’t Impose Candidate on Members, Warns Secondus


• Pearse: Adeniran not Atiku’s candidate •Party’s govs, chairmanship aspirants, others meet in Enugu
•Adedoja Touts His Credentials
Segun James
As the race for the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hots up, one of the aspirants, Uche Secondus, has debunked the insinuation that some people wanted to impose him on the party.
This is coming as another aspirant, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, also denied being the candidate of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.

Meanwhile, an expanded meeting of governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), contestants for the party’s National chairmanship as well as other party leaders yesterday held at the Government House, Enugu.

The Secondus Campaign Organisation in a statement signed by Mr. Taiye Garrick, said that reports alleging clandestine moves by some powerful forces to impose Uche Secondus as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party was false.

Garrick said “There is no iota of truth in the reports. Our candidate depends on endorsement and votes of delegates at the forthcoming national convention.
“We want Nigerians and members of the party to note that the position of National Chairman was zoned to the Southern region comprising of three zones and Prince Secondus has every legitimate and legal rights to aspire for the office of national chairman.”

While reassuring those who may have the fear of Secondus’ chances, Garrick stated that since Secondus launched his ambition for the position, “no member of Board of Trustees has openly endorsed him as some have done for some other candidates. We repeat that nobody is imposing anybody. There is no plot to impose Prince Secondus on the PDP.”

He stressed that “When some members of Board of Trustees openly endorsed some aspirants, the Secondus Campaign Organisation did not raise any eyebrow. Rather than waiting for any group endorsements, we have been campaigning day and night across the six zones, selling our redemption messages to PDP delegates.
“We urge all aspirants to get ready for the national convention and stop game of distractions. The delegates assembled will cast their votes for an aspirant of their choice in the full glare of the public. Nobody can impose any aspirant in a free and fair contest.

“We also want to affirm that Secondus remains the most qualified for the chairmanship going by his antecedents before and after the crisis that nearly killed the party. He is bold and pushful alongside with his great blueprint to return the PDP to power in 2019.”
In a related development, the Lagos State Support Group for Adeniran for PDP national chairman has said that there is no iota of truth in the news making the rounds that Adeniran’s candidacy for national chairmanship of the party is at the behest of Atiku Abubakar.

The coordinator of the support group,  Adetokunbo Pearse, said that such insinuation was not only illogical, but silly, adding that the days of imposition of candidates in the party was over.
“Besides, Atiku is not yet a member of our party, so how could he impose any candidate?” he asked.
Pearse insisted that December 9 national delegate convention would  be free and fair as “we don’t have the State House anymore, so nobody is going to impose his preferred candidate from Aso Rock Villa.”
He also said that governors were no longer as powerful as they used to be, “so they cannot impose their will on the delegates”, he added.
He lamented that it was such issue as imposition that led to the crisis in the PDP and that efforts were on to avoid the mistakes of the past.

He said: “Look at it. When former President (Goodluck) Jonathan insisted on Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the party broke. When Bode George imposed Jimi Agbaje on the party in Lagos state, it broke. When some governors brought in Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and imposed him on members, the party scattered. That is bane of imposition. Nothing like that is going to be allowed again. The will of the people must prevail this time around.”

Pearse insisted that Adeniran was not only the best among all the aspirants but the most acceptable, nationally.
Also speaking with our correspondent on the telephone, another aspirant for the PDP chairmanship, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, said that all  stakeholders have to express their opinion on the national chairmanship of the party.

He said that, PDP, as the most formidable political party in African continent, not less was expected.
He said: “Since 1998 and two years to 2019 general elections, all hands must be on deck to take over power from the APC and for this mission to be realied, the party must bring forward the best national chairman, a candidate that is trust worthy, reliable and a goal-getter.

“I Professor Taoheed Adedoja, possess all the qualities needed to lead PDP to reclaim power in 2019 both at the federal level and over two-third of the states of federation. I am a bridge builder. I have traversed in all the length and breadth of Nigeria, having lived in all the three zones of the northern part of the country and many southern states.”
Meanwhile, an expanded meeting of governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), contestants for the party’s National chairmanship as well as other party leaders is underway at the Government House, Enugu.

All the PDP governors including Ayo Fayose (Ekiti), Ibrahim Damkwambo (Gombe) Darius Ishiaku (Taraba), Ben Ayade (Cross River), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa-Ibom), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and the host, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi were present, except Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi who sent his deputy, Kelechi Igwe.

Also present were the Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Makarfi and Secretary, Chief Ben Obi.

All the national chairmanship aspirants of the party, including, Rasheed Ladoja, Gbenda Daniel, Raymond Dogbesi, Bode George, Jimi Agbaje, among others were also present.

Other leaders including Chief Tom Ikimi, Mrs. Kema Chikwe, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara and former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido among others also attended.

As at 6pm when the meeting started, more people were still arriving.

Details of the meeting remained sketchy as at press time, but the presence of the party’s aspirants suggested that the forthcoming National Convention of the party may be on the card.