After the last minute withdrawal of his strongest opponents from the race, Prince Uche Secondus has emerged as the new National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The results were announced early today.
Secondus defeated former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran; media magnate, Chief Raymond Dokpesi and Prof. Taoheed Adedoja during the election which climaxed the party’s elective National Convention held from yesterday morning at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
Former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Southwest leader of PDP, Chief Olabode George, who ran a strong campaign for the office withdrew at the last minute over alleged irregularities in the process.
Three other aspirants, Mr Jimi Agbaje, Sen. Rasheed Ladoja and Mr Remi Olusegun also withdrew from the race at the last minute.
Secondus, a former Acting National Chairman of PDP, garnered 2,000 votes as against the 230 votes by his closest rival, Prof Adeniran. Chief Dokpesi, who was earlier reported to have withdrawn from the race but insisted on seeing the process to the end, got 66 votes while Prof Adedoja finished the race empty-handed.
Secondus is to work with Senator Umar Tsauri, who emerged PDP’s new National Secretary, as well as others elected during the convention.
In his acceptance speech, Secondus promised to rebuild PDP and lead it to regain power in 2019.
Meanwhile, Dokpesi and Adeniran have rejected the outcome of the exercise.
They announced their positions in separate interviews with newsmen at the venue of the convention in Abuja.
Dokpesi said he rejected the elections following alleged distribution of a so-called Unity List to delegates. He described it as a charade that could destroy the party.
Dokpesi said the process of voting had been rigged, following the distribution of the unity list containing names of candidates believed to have won elections into various National leadership positions in the party.
He explained 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.
He added that complaints were lodged to the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Gabriel Suswam, who confirmed that he had seen the list with some delegates, but he was overwhelmed.
Dokpesi 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.
He called on the party leadership to urgently rectify the anomaly before it becomes another major challenge in the party, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Similarly, Taiwo Akeju, the Director, Media and Publicity of the Adeniran Campaign, called for the cancellation of the entire exercise.
Akeju accused Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State of being the masterminds of the Unity List distributed to the delegates.
He said: “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 Ayodele Fayose to foist on the entire delegates.”
Akeju, however, called on the Board of Trustees of the party to take over the affairs of the party until proper election would be conducted, since the National Caretaker Committee had been dissolved.
The rejection of the unity list by the frontline chairmanship candidates was done before the final collation of the elections results.