Uche Secondus, former acting chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has clinched the chairmanship seat of the party with 2000 votes at an ongoing elective convention at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
His closest challengers for the seat were Prof. Tunde Adeniran who amid much politicking emerged consensus candidate of the South-West zone and claimed second spot with 230 votes, and media mogul, Raymond Dokpesi, who ended the contest with 66 votes.
Secondus’s eventual victory did not however come without eliciting a groundswell of bad blood and disillusionment from the other aspirants and their supporters.
Some of the other aspirants had actually cried blue murder from even before the voting process commenced.
Former National Deputy Chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George, and another aspirant, Jimi Agbaje as well as former Oyo State Governor, Rasheed Ladoja, were early withdrawals from the race. While George had backed down from the contest for what he referred to as a hijacking of the process by “money moguls”, the other aspirants withdrew to back consensus South-West candidate, Adeniran who eventually emerged as first runner-up.
While vote-counting was underway, and preempting that proceedings would not swing his way, Adeniran stormed out of the Eagle Square venue of the convention calling for a cancellation of the exercise.
Lamenting that the voting process was rigged, Dokpesi on his part said, “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.”
Also, a number of delegates could be seen complaining during the exercise that it was everything but free, fair and transparent with some delegates who felt their candidates were hard done by, calling for a cancellation of the process.
Eventual winner, Secondus enjoyed the support of governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State who overtly campaigned for and lobbied his chairmanship aspiration.
Secondus was formerly a two-term chairman of the PDP in Rivers State and was more recently the party’s organising secretary and deputy national chairman.