By Eric Elezuo
The events leading to the much talked about National Convention of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), promised a lot of goodwill, and so not a few persons were expecting a hitch-free convention. But events took a dramatic turn when rumours of a supposed Unity List began to make the rounds.
Consequently, few hours to the convention, many of the candidates began to withdraw their candidacy in a move many thought was to produce a consensus candidate. But that was not to be; many withdrawees left because of the so called Unity List, blaming Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who was the Convention Planning Committee Chairman, of high jacking and manipulating the process.
Of the nine aspirants that started the journey, only four were left on the final day; they were Prince Uche Secondus, High Chief Raymond Dopkesi, Chief Taoheed Adedoja and Ambassador Tunde Adediran. Others threw in the towel either in protest or to make way for someone else to emerge. At the end of the day, Prince Secondus emerged the Chairman in what looked a script well interpreted. Everyone cried foul, and it was even on record that Adediran walked out of the process during the vote count. It was obvious to all and sundry including the APC that the PDP has one more time failed to put their house in order.
With that knowledge, the new chairman began a frantic effort to initiate reconciliatory moves, especially with the Yoruba, which felt they were grossly marginalized and sidelined. The trio of Prince Uche Secondus, Governor Nyesom Wike and Governor Serake Dickson of Bayelsa State, from separate angles began to make consultations, appeals and outright stretching of the olive branch to draw back all aggrieved parties.
However, the move did yield any tangible result as Nigerians woke on Tuesday to behold a splinter group from the PDP which called itself Fresh PDP with five ‘faceless’ men as leaders. The men are Prince Obi Nwosu, Alhaji Hassan Adamu, Chief Olusola Akindele, Chief Godwin Duru and Franklyne Edede.
Among these men, Chief Akindele was identified as a director of the Adediran’s campaign group, prompting the public to believe that Adediran has something to do with the group. But the former Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Director General has denied any link with the gentleman, saying he is acting on his own.
Speaking through the Director of his Campaign Organisation, Mr. Shehu Garban, in Abuja, Adeniran stated that anybody who had genuine grievances was free to express them but cautioned that he should not be linked to the group, stressing that he did not send anyone to the group.
“We do not know them. They don’t represent us and we have nothing to do with them. Whoever is there doesn’t represent us,” he added.
But the Personal Assistant to Adeniran while maintaining the former Ambassador to the United States has no link to the group, told TheBoss, in an exclusive chat that notwithstanding the last has not been heard of the December 9 Convention.
He said: “His excellency is making consultations, and will come out with something soon. But be rest assured that the last has not been heard of the convention saga because our candidate was cheated, and that was why he had to walk out of the convention.”
On whether the group will go to court, the PA intoned that everything will unfold in due course, stressing that the last has not been heard of the matter. He however, reiterated that Chief Akindele’s presence among the five men that formed a parallel PDP party has nothing to do with the Adediran group.
The PDP was expected to come out clean with its convention in order to finally put the ruling APC on its foes but the reverse has again become the case as the house still remains divided.
Political followers are of the opinion that the party is yet to learn a lesson having come out from a protracted legal battle to ascertain the authentic party leader between Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ali Modo Sheriff; a fight that stretched to the Supreme Court, and sapped both energy and resources.
With the going to court of Chief Adedoja, and the forming of a splinter group, PDP may just be heading for the precipice once again.