Uche Secondus May Emerge as PDP National Chairman

Barely two weeks to the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), tension is mounting as to what the result of the elections would be and what the results portends for the future of the party.
This is as the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party has fixed Thursday for a meeting to discuss issues being generated by the convention. While many of the aspirants are worried because of the failure of the national leadership of the party to release the list of those that would conduct the December 9 National Convention, there are strong indications that the odds favour Prince Uche Secondus, a candidate considered as the dark horse in the race, to clinch the chairmanship position.
This is because many believe that the former acting National Chairman has deep experience in the internal workings of the party and that is his strongest selling point. Secondus, The Daily Times gathered, fit perfectly well into the mindset of a cross-section of PDP stakeholders that have vowed not to settle for anything less than experience as the most critical consideration for supporting any of the candidates jostling for the soul of the party.
The former chairman of the party in Rivers State is also seen by many as a person that knows the party inside out. His role in the rebuilding process of the party could not be ignored, as he is acknowledged as one of the very few that saved the PDP’s ship from a total wreck. He is believed to be strong, bold and pushful and that with him on the driver’s seat, the party may return to power in 2019.
To some members of the party organs, Prince Secondus remains the most qualified for the chairmanship position going by his antecedents before and after the crisis that culminated in the loss of the party in the 2015 general election. While the PDP’s Governors Forum has not made an open preference, it is believed that majority of the governors will back Secondus for the position.
A grapevine from the forum said: “It is almost clear that PDP governors prefer Secondus. Governors of the party from the South East and South-South automatically throw their weights behind him and he also has the support of their Excellencies from the Northern zones and most surprisingly is that of Ekiti State governor who naturally should be rooting for one of the candidates from the South West.” Though feelers from the camp of PDP former governors painted a divided house with about three candidates getting attention, however, former governors from the South East and South-South states are solidly behind Secondus.
It was further learnt that these former governors from South East and South-South have enlisted the support of some of their Northern counterparts for Secondus, while those from the South West already had their fold depleted with three of them, Chief Olabode George of Lagos State, Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State and Rasheed Ladoja of Oyo State eyeing the post. None of them is ready to step down while the lack of consensus candidate from South West will favour Secondus.
A member of the PDP Board of Trustees who spoke with The Daily Times on condition of anonymity, said: “At this critical stage of our party’s life, we need an experienced person, who knows the nitty-gritty of the party, who knows about the day-to-day affairs of the party and that is why someone like our former Deputy National Chairman, Uche Secondus, is the most preferred candidate. “He is somebody who has been in the engine room of the party, who has been at the head of the party; he would be able to rebuild the party, reunite old members, and reposition the PDP to take back power in 2019.” He further justified Secondus’ eligibility to run for the position, which according to him, has been blanketly zoned to the Southern part of the country as against the belief of a micro-zoning to the South-West. “He is eminently qualified because he is from one of the three geo-political zones in the Southern part of the country to which the chairmanship position has been zoned.
He is from the South-South zone where the party is having less crisis and River State where there is no crisis within the party unlike in other zones where we have some issues,” he said. One of the contestants in the chairmanship race, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, has even accused the national leadership of the party of working to favour Secondus in the race.
Adeniran, in a letter to the party leadership, accused them of deliberately including the names of five loyalists of Secondus on the list of those to conduct congresses; an action which he said was aimed at giving him undue advantage. But the party executive has said there was no deliberate plan to favour anyone, as there was no way they would know those loyal to a particular candidate before appointing them to undertake party duties when they are known to be faithful party members.
Secondus campaign group has also denied an allegation that their principal is an anointed candidate in the race, rather they attributed Secondus’ wide acceptance to a result of his wide consultations across the country. He was said to have been reaching out to delegates across the 36 states, seeking their votes and presenting his agenda for the revival of the party ahead of 2019.

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