Erstwhile acting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has emerged winner of the chairmanship election of the main opposition party which held at Eagle Square, Abuja on Saturday.
Secondus defeated the consensus candidate of the South-West zone, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, and media mogul, Raymond Dokpesi, who remained in the race for the coveted position.
While Secondus coasted home to victory with 2,000 votes, Adeniran got 230 votes to place second, while Dokpesi came a distant third with 66 votes. Another aspirant, Taoheed Adedoja is reported to have got nil vote.
His victory triggered negative reaction following the purported inclusion of the name of the former Rivers PDP chairman on a list which was allegedly used to rig the exercise.
Dokpesi and Adeniran who earlier stormed out of the convention ground have rejected the results and called for its cancellation following the series of allegations of bribery of delegates and irregularities. They described the process as unfair.
They both stated that delegates were given a list of candidates to support and that the organizers of the convention had become helpless.
Dokpesi had said the list which was allegedly prepared by some governors was given to many delegates ahead of the convention.
He said the 21 names of candidates contained in the list appeared on the ballot papers as number one and in the voting booth as number one.
“Since we started voting about three hours ago, every delegate that is available was provided with copies of what you have here. They call it ‘Unity List’ and all the names on the list are number one in all the cubicles for voting and this is supposed to be a list prepared by the governors,” Dokpesi had said.
On his part, Adeniran called for a cancellation of the exercise, stating that Governors Nyesom Wike foisted the Unity List on delegates.
“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” the Director, Media and Publicity of the Adeniran Campaign, Taiwo Akeju, said last night.
Meanwhile, it is not just Dokpesi and Adeniran who lamented the situation, many others complained, with a delegate who spoke next to Dokpesi at a press conference late Saturday, calling for the “burial” of the PDP.
“Let’s just call for a casket and bury the party,” he had said in anger.
Secondus, who was once the party’s organising secretary, deputy national chairman, got the strong backing of the 11 governors elected on the platform of the party, as they stood in solidarity with him throughout the exercise.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state and his Ekiti state counterpart, Ayodele Fayose, openly mobilised support for the new party chairman.