The Peoples Democratic Party is holding its national convention at the Eagle Square, Abuja, today. Unlike the last convention in Port Harcourt which was doomed by lawsuits that went up to the Supreme Court, today’s event appears less controversial.
Delegates and other party faithful from across the country have been arriving at the nation’s capital for the big event since last week. About 3,000 delegates — elected and statutory— are expected to vote to fill the positions of the national chairman and several other national offices.
An official list of all the candidates and their targeted offices is expected to be released later today. The party has been under the supervision of different interim national executives since May 2015 when Adamu Mu’azu resigned as part of the fallout from the 2015 election woes.
Mr. Mu’azu, a former governor of Bauchi State, was confirmed as the party’s national chairman in January 2014. Nine people were cleared to run in the race for the chairmanship, but some of them have started standing down since last night, amidst controversy over the party’s internal arrangements.
Taoheed Adedoja, Tunde Adeniran, Raymond Dokpesi, Jimi Agbaje, Gbenga Daniel, Olabode George, Uche Secondus, Rasheed Ladoja and Segun Aderemi have spent the last few weeks traveling the country to canvass support.
But Mr. George, a former vice-chairman of the PDP and serving member of its Board of Trustees, stepped down around 8:00 p.m. Friday, citing alleged injustice and disregard for gentlemen agreement amongst the party’s divergent blocs.
It is not immediately clear if he has urged his potential delegates to support a specific contender, but his anger was directed at Governor Nyesom Wike, who has been pushing for Mr. Secondus’ victory. The PDP reserved the chairmanship for the south after resolving to let the presidential ticket go to the north.
There are indications that more candidates from the Southwest are on the verge of announcing their withdrawal to settle on a consensus from the zone.