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Intrigues, power play at the PDP national convention as Iyorchia Ayu emerges national chairman

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Olusesan Laoye

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s convention Saturday after some delay and power play which prompted stakeholders to adopt consensus arrangements, to pick candidates for the next national executive of the party.

The convention was a show of intrigues and power play, which saw the governors in the party coming up as a strong team against the elders who have been calling the shots in the past.

Obvious from the outcome of the convention, is that governors now have total cotroll of the party.

There were too glaring cases which stamped the authority the governors in PDP. They were the choice of Deputy National Chairman South and that of the North.

For instance Oyinlola who came to the convention ground after being assured at home, was at the last minute betrayed by Governor Seyi Makinde, who backed the former Deputy Governor of Oyo State and the current Chairman, South West of the party, to emerge as the Deputy chairman for South.

It was the same game plan with the counterpart in the North, as Ambassador Uma Illiya Damagum, who was a governor’s candidate emerged as the the Deputy Chairman North, against Mayryam Ciroma, who like Oyinlola refused to stepped down when ask to do so at the convention ground.

The machineries put up by the elders and Presidential hopefuls, like the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, Former Senate President Bukola Saraki and others, to make Oyinlola and Ciroma emerge, failed as the governors definitely had their way.

Atiku, Saraki, Lamido and others had wanted Ciroma and Oyinlola in order to curtail the overbearing influence of the governors but failed.

The convention was also an avenue for the presidential aspirants to declare their intentions, as they all displayed posters and banners to let the members know that they are coming out for the primary of the party.

From what was witnessed, Atiku, Saraki, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Lamido and former FCT Minister and Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, have declared interest to contest for president.

Just as it happened in Lagos in 2014 at the APC Presidential Primary at theTeslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, where Kwankwaso came second, it was said that his supporters with their red caps and head gears dominated the Eagle square where they danced round with their principal, Kwankwaso.

At the end of the day the following individuals, all candidates backed by governors, emerged.

Many of the positions, including the chairmanship, won by Dr Iyorchia Ayu, were filled by consensus.

National Chairman – Iyorchia Ayu

Deputy National Chairman (North) – Umar Damagum (Contested)

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Deputy National Chairman (South) – Taofeek Arapaja (Contested)

National Secretary – Samuel Anyanwu (Unopposed)

National Treasurer – Ahmed Mohammed (Unopposed)

National Organising Secretary – Umar Bature (Unopposed)

National Financial Secretary – Daniel Woyegikuro (Unopposed)

National Women’s Leader – Professor Stella Effah-Attoe (Unopposed)

National Youth Leader – Muhammed Suleiman (Contested)

National Legal Adviser – Kamaldeen Ajibade (Unopposed)

National Publicity Secretary – Debo Ologunagba (Unopposed)

National Auditor – Okechuckwu Daniel (Unopposed)

Deputy National Secretary – Setoji Kosheodo (Unopposed)

Deputy National Treasurer – Ndubisi David (Unopposed)

Deputy National Publicity Secretary – Ibrahim Abdullahi (Unopposed)

Deputy National Organising Secretary – Ighoyota Amori (Unopposed)

Deputy National Financial Secretary – Adamu Kamale (Unopposed)

Deputy National Women’s Leader – Hajara Wanka (Unopposed)

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Deputy National Youth Leader – Timothy Osadolor (Unopposed)

Deputy National Legal Adviser – Okechukwu Osuoha (Unopposed)

Deputy National Auditor – Abdulrahman Mohammed (Unopposed)

Meanwhile the Chairmanship elect Dr Ayu promised to unite the party and put together a winning team ahead of the next presidential elections.

He castigated the ruling APC, accusing the president Muhammadu Buhari government of destroying Nigeria’s economy, while arguing that the hope of Nigerians now lies with the PDP.

Atiku, Tambuwal, the National convention committee Chairman, Ahmed Fintiri and the outgoing acting Chairman of the party, Elder Yemi Akinwumi, chided the APC for the role it is playing to disintegrate Nigeria, with its policies which they claimed were inimical to the progress and aspirations of the people.

Fintiri and Akinwumi said members should come together, while Fintiri declared that the inauguration of the newly elected executives would come on December 9, 2021 to ensure smooth transition and for the current executives to finish their tenure.

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