A former acting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus has been elected and sworn-in as the new national chairman of the main opposition party.
Secondus who was acting chairman of the party from May 20, 2015 to February 16, 2016, emerged as PDP chairman at the early hours of Sunday at the PDP Elective National Convention.
He polled 2,000 votes, while Tunde Adeniran came a distant second with 231 votes, even as Raymond Dokpesi and Taoheed Adedoja garnered 66 and zero votes respectively.
The election was marred by allegations of financial inducement of delegates by serving governors of the party who were said to have thrown their weight behind the Rivers State PDP chieftain.
Some of the aspirants had complained bitterly on the circulation of a ‘Unity List’ said to have been approved by PDP governors and distributed to delegates at the Eagles Square – venue of the national convention in Abuja.
One of the aspirants, Dokpesi alleged that the convention was manipulated by the governors in favour of Secondus.
On his part, Adeniran rejected the election results and called for the conduct of another poll.
Speaking at the convention venue prior to the announcement of the results, the former Education Minister alleged that the election was ‘grossly compromised’ and accused the governors of Rivers and Ekiti State, Nyesom Wike and Ayo Fayose respectively of foisting ‘Unity List’ on delegates.
Taiwo Akeju, Director, Media and Publicity, Tunde Adeniran Campaign Organization, who spoke on behalf of his principal, called for the handing over of the party’s affairs to the Board of Trustees (BoT).
He said: “We reject the entire electoral process of December 9, 2017. The election has been grossly compromised to achieve a predetermined end in line with the illegal Unity List prepared by Governor Wike and Ayodele Fayose and foisted on the entire delegates.
“Consequently, we submit that this election is a sham and the result therefrom is unacceptable. We reject it in its entirety.
“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.
“Our position is also that this election should be cancelled and the entire leadership of the party should be handed over to the Board of Trustees which we regard as the conscience of the party, to organise a credible election for the party in due cause”.
OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja