Protests as Uche Secondus elected opposition party (PDP) chairman in Nigeria
By Rasaq Bamidele
London, Dec. 10, 2017 (AltAfrika)-After several weeks of campaigns, the Nigeria’s major opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has eventually elected a new National Chairman on Saturday to steer the ship of the party for the next four years.
The new Chairman is Prince Uche Secondus from Rivers State in the south-South axis of the country. He has since been sworn-in in spite of some pocket of protests of electoral fraud by some of his co-contestants.
Secondus was a deputy national chairman of the party. He is unarguably the longest serving official of the party, having risen through the ranks since 1999 to date.
The emergence of Secondus was at the instance of the eleven powerful governors of the opposition party who are mainly from the South East and south south zones of the country.
However, the emergence of Secondus seems poised to sound the death knell of the opposition party that wants to regain power it lost in 2015 as protest against him is mainly from the south west of the country.
The chairman of the electoral committee of the convention, and former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, who announced the results, said Mr. Secondus scored a total of 2,000 votes out of the total number of 2,296 votes cast.
Mr. Secondus was followed by a former Minister of Education, Tunde Adeniran, who scored a total vote of 231 votes, while the duo of Raymond Dokpesi and Taoheed Adedoja scored 66 and 0 votes respectively.
However, other challengers alleged the result was predetermined and unacceptable as delegates’ list was allegedly doctored in favour of the choice of the governors. They therefore called for cancelation of an election that was meant to solidify the former ruling party ahead another election in February 2019.
“We submit that this election is a sham and its result is unacceptable. We reject it in its entirety,” Adeniran’s campaign office declared in a statement.
“We consider this so-called election as a travesty of democracy and due process, which further entrenches the culture of impunity that has done a great damage to the party in the past,” it added.
Secodus has however pledged to reach out to the aggrieved parties to move the party forward.
His words: “I want to appeal to every member of the party to come together and be united. I’m appealing to all and sundry, we should all remain united and be committed.”
Several aspirants had withdrawn from the race as the election got underway on Saturday, some claiming lack of transparency in the process while others did so to back other contestants.