After an unsuccessful attempt by the suspended National President of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, to stop the party’s national convention, 3,600 delegates will converge on Abuja on October 30 and 31 to elect the new leaders of the country’s main opposition.
The agreement was initially shrouded in uncertainty until the Port Harcourt Division Court of Appeal on Friday dismissed the complaint filed by Mr Secondus challenging his suspension and seeking to stop the event.
About 21 positions on the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) will be contested by at least 27 convention candidates.
PREMIUM TIMES had communicated the complete list of people authorized by the selection committee chaired by the former attorney general of the federation, Mohammed Adoke, to run for positions.
However, most of the candidates will be elected unopposed following successful negotiations by the National Convention Organizing Committee headed by Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State and other party leaders to secure a position. consensus candidate for each position.
The North, to which the post of national president was zoned, had chosen Iyorchia Ayu, a former president of the Senate, as the consensus candidate.
Fintiri said only three positions, namely National Vice President (South), National Auditor and National Youth Leader, did not yet have consensus candidates on Friday.
The battle for the post of National Vice President (South) is between a former Governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and a former Vice Governor of Osun State, Taofeek Arapaja, who is currently the Vice -President of PDP Sud-Ouest.
Mr. Fintiri confirmed that the selection committee had disqualified some candidates; Wale Oladipo (Osun) who expressed his interest in the post of National Vice President, and Eddy Olafeso for the post of National Secretary of Publicity and Akintan Oludaisi for the post of Deputy National Secretary, for filing a complaint against the party.
Okey Muo-Aroh (SAN) who expressed interest in the post of national secretary was disqualified as he is not from Imo state to which the post was micro-zoned, but from the state of Anambra.
PREMIUM TIMES will be in Eagle Square, Abuja to bring you live updates from the convention.
At exactly 1:05 p.m., the PDP declared the National Convention open with a stanza from the Nigerian national anthem.
Benue State Executive Governor Samuel Ortom and Kano State PDP Chairman Shehu Wada delivered the Christian and Muslim prayers, respectively.
“We prayed to you, Lord, to give us a second chance as you did in 2019,” Mr. Ortom said as the party officially kicked off the event of the day.
PREMIUM TIMES can report that the delegates from the 36 Member States and the FCT are fully seated except those from Ogun, Ondo among others largely from the southwest area.
Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, who is also the chairman of the organizing committee for the 2021 PDP national convention, in his 19-minute speech, praised his team’s diplomacy.
He said the country had never had things so bad until the emergence of the current APC administration. He stressed the need for the PDP to return to power in 2023.
Fintiri recounted the party’s journey until he attributed its growth to all past presidents and stakeholders except the besieged Uche Secondus.
Against the figure of the convention organizing committee, the convention president said a total of 3,600 delegates are expected to participate in the election of 21 members of the NWC.
His speech was followed by a brief speech by Acting National President Yemi Akinwonmo, who also criticized the ruling CPA. He then declared the election open.
The PDP is about to begin electing its 21 NWC members for the next four years.
The phase is at the heart of the day’s activities, although election results will not be available until 9 a.m., when they will take over the party administration. The chairman of the convention committee, Ahmadu Fintiri, confirmed this earlier in his speech. . He said the reason was to allow the current members of the NWC to complete their four-year term, which began on December 9, 2017.
Supporters of the candidates were ordered to vacate the premises while delegates were ordered to take their seats in the space allotted to them within Eagle Square.
Election officials also took up their respective positions in the center of the Eagle Square Hall at 4:45 p.m.
Delegates will vote in alphabetical order.
Delegates from Abia State have been called to come forward to exercise their right to vote.
Adamawa State will follow.
Senatorial Minority Leader Enyinnanya Abaribe, speaking on behalf of the PDP National Assembly caucus, said: “Today millions of people are following the convention debates because they are impatiently waiting. the result. They want to get away from the cold-blooded and arrogant looting of the CPA treasury. Today, over the past six years, we have witnessed the repression of our citizens, extrajudicial killings and injustices on the part of the ruling party. This ignorant government is doing nothing as bandits take over our highways. “
Regarding the economy, Mr Abaribe, who represents Abia South, said: “They have plundered our economy. They have completely destroyed the economy. Millions of people are denied the opportunity for successful business ventures, when they speak out they are brutalized. “
The former governor of Benue, Gabriel Suswam, who is currently a senator, is invited to propose the motion of adoption of the congress.
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar addresses the convention. He said: “The country is going through the most difficult time ever, I am 70 years old and I have never seen this type of hardship, insecurity and disunity before in Nigeria. We have a chance to right the country and unite the country, a chance to ship our country to its rightful place among the courtesy of nations. PDP is not perfect, none of us are perfect. The APC has shown itself to be ill-equipped and corrupt. The PDP Unit is an extension of the Nigeria Unit. We need to develop a country that avoids ethnicity and focus on merits and the right political framework ”
The delegates from Abia State and Adamawa State are currently voting. The states are listed in alphabetical order.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has just voted as one of the delegates from Adamawa State.
Delegates from Akwa Ibom and Anambra states are currently voting. So the process was ordered.
So far, delegates from Abia, Anambra, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River and Ekiti have voted.
Currently, delegates from Jigawa and Kaduna are voting. There was a short break after the vote of the Ekiti delegates.
Sule Lamido, the former governor of Jigawa State led the delegates from his state.
Crowds at the site are reduced as most delegates leave after the vote
Kano delegates, led by ex-governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, are about to vote.
Supporters of likely presidential candidates appear to be trying to sell their principal’s popularity.
The supporters, wearing the symbolic red cap of the Kwankwasiyya movement chant “Sai Kwakwanso”.
When Jigawa State delegates voted, it was the same, as supporters chanted “Sai Lamido”.
The same happened when delegates from Adamawa, Atiku Abubakar’s home state, voted.
Delegates from Kwara and Lagos states are currently exercising their right to vote, while delegates from Nasarawa and Niger states have been urged to prepare.
According to the announcer, 58 delegates from Nasarawa are expected to participate in the exercise while 76 delegates from Niger will vote at the same time.
There is an ongoing drama between delegates from Osun and Oyo states over the post of National Vice President (South)
Former candidate for governor of Osun Stste in the 2018 election, Ademola Adeleke leads support for Mr Oyinlola, while Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo leads supporters for Mr Arapaja.
Coincidentally, delegates from both states are seated in pavilions side by side due to the states’ alphabetical arrangement.
Delegates from both states sing offensive songs and curse each other.
MM. Oyinlola and Arapaja are candidates for the post of national vice-president (south).
Delegates from Ogun and Ondo states are about to vote.
Delegates from Osun and Oyo states were invited to vote.
Osun, who presents his former governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola at the seat of the National Vice President (South), has 93 delegates.
The 130 accredited delegates will also vote alongside his counterpart.
Taofeek Arapaja, who is a former deputy governor of Oyo state, has the backing of the outgoing state governor and the secretary of the National Convention Committee, Seyi Makinde, will fight with Mr. Oyinlola.
Mr Makinde will lead the Oyo delegates to the ballot after 83 and 55 delegates from Ogun and Ondo states, respectively, have voted.
Delegates from Osun and Oyo states are currently voting.
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike is currently directing the 130 accredited delegates to the polling stations to exercise their right to vote.
The state has 137 delegates but only 130 have been accredited.
The 65 delegates from Plateau State are also in the queue leading to the voting point to vote.
A former vice-governor of Oyo state, Taofeek Arapaja, emerged victorious in the election for the post of national vice-president (South) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr. Arapaja, an ally of Governor Seyi Makinde, garnered 2,004 votes to defeat his only opponent, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former Governor of Osun State, who won 705 votes.
There was wild jubilation at the PDP convention venue in Eagle Square in the early hours of Sunday when the election result was announced.
A total of 165 votes were declared invalid.
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