After a failed attempt by the suspended National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, to stop the national convention of the party, 3,600 delegates will converge on Abuja, on 30 and 31 October, to elect new leaders for the country’s leading opposition.
The convention was initially enveloped in uncertainty until the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, on Friday, dismissed the suit filed by Mr Secondus challenging his suspension and seeking to stop the event.
About 21 positions in the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party will be contested for by at least 27 candidates at the convention.
InfoStride News had reported the full list of those cleared by the screening committee chaired by former Attorney General of the federation, Mohammed Adoke, to contest for the positions.
However, most of the candidates will be elected unopposed following successful negotiations by the National Convention Organising Committee led by Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State as well as other leaders of the party to get a consensus candidate for each position.
The North, to which the position of the national chairman was zoned, had picked Iyorchia Ayu, a former senate president, as its consensus candidate.
Mr Fintiri said only three positions, namely deputy national chairman (South), national auditor and national youth leader, are yet to have consensus candidates as of Friday.
The battle for the position of the deputy national chairman (South) is between a former governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and a former deputy governor of Osun State, Taofeek Arapaja, who is currently the PDP’ South-west deputy chairman.
Mr Fintiri confirmed that the screening committee disqualified some aspirants; Wale Oladipo (Osun) who expressed interest in the office of deputy national chairman, and Eddy Olafeso for national publicity secretary position and Akintan Oludaisi for the office of national deputy secretary, for filing suits against the party.
Okey Muo-Aroh (SAN) who showed interest in the office of national secretary was disqualified because he is not from Imo State to which the position was zones.
At exactly 1:05pm, the PDP declared the National Convention open with a stanza from Nigeria’s National Anthem.
The Executive Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, and the Kano State PDP Chairman, Shehu Wada, said the Christian and Muslim prayers, respectively.
“We prayed to you Lord to give us a second chance as you did in 2019,” Mr Ortom said as the party officially launched into the day’s event.
Info can report that delegates from the 36 member states and the FCT are fully seated except those from Ogun, Ondo among others largely from the southwest zone.
The Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri, who doubles as the Chairman of the 2021 PDP National Convention Organising Committee, in his 19 minutes speech, praised the diplomacy of the his team.
He said the country has never had things this bad until the emergece of the current APC administration. He stressed the need for the PDP to return to power come 2023.
Mr Fintiri chronicled the journey of the party thus far as he ascribed its growth to all past chairmen and stakeholders, excluding the embattled Uche Secondus.
Against the figure of the Organising Committee of the convention, the chairman of the convention said a total of 3,600 delegates are expected to partticipate in the election of 21 NWC members.
His speech was followed by the brief address of the interim National Chairman, Yemi Akinwonmo, who also criticised the ruling APC. He subsequently declared the election open.
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