• I won’t step down for anybody –Secretary
From TAIWO AMODU, Abuja
Chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will tomorrow meet at the Presidential Villa in a historic session to pick a new chairman to preside over the affairs of the advisory organ of the party. Whoever emerges tomorrow will administer the Board for a single term of five years. A meeting of the body called last December to elect a new chairman was abruptly aborted, as members fixed tomorrow as new date.
Daily Sun findings revealed that tomorrow’s session would be stormy, as aspirants for the position had failed to agree on the idea of a consensus candidate. A source told Daily Sun that a consensus candidate may eventually emerge after rigorous consultations by party elders. “It is better for us to have consensus. You will recall that the national Chairman and Secretary of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola emerged through consensus.
The aspirants for the position of chairman of the board are adults. I think they will agree to have a consensus candidate,’’ the source said. About 21 chieftains of the party who were both members and non-members of the Board had applied for the position. Main contenders include former vice president, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, former Senate president, Dr. Ken Nnamani and former chairman of the party, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo.
Also in the race are former national chairman of the party, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, former works minister, Chief Tony Anenih and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu. The list also include; Chief Don Etiebet, Senator Bode Olajumoke, Chief Shuaib Oyedokun, Chief Yekeen Adeojo, Senator Onyeabo Obi and Chief Harry Akande, among others. Among the main contenders for the office, Dr. Ekwueme and Chief Tony Anenih had once occupied the position.
The race had pitched former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo against the sitting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. While the former was insisting on the candidature of former national chairman of the party, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, foot soldiers of the latter had been able to convince a sizeable member of the 98-member board to back the candidature of former works minister, who was also a former chairman of the board, Dr. Tony Anenih. Daily Sun findings further revealed that Obasanjo’s plan to ensure the removal of the incumbent secretary of the Board, Senator Walid Jubrin had met with stiff opposition.
Both Dr. Ahmadu Ali and Senator Walid Jubrin were from the North-Central geo-political zones. Text messages appealing to members of the board to reject the removal of Senator Jubrin to pave way for Ahmadu Ali, ahead of tomorrow session had been in circulation among PDP BoT members in Abuja. Speaking with Daily Sun in a telephone interview, Senator Jubrin vowed that he would not step down for anybody from his North-Central geo-political zone to emerge as chairman of the Board. He declared that he was duly elected to serve the statutory five-year single term as secretary of the Board.
He warned those championing the cause of Dr Ahmadu Ali to be conscious of the party’s constitution, which stated that leadership of the Board must reflect the principle of federal character. “The BoT is the conscience of the party that needs a man of integrity and clear conscience, genuinely respected by all party members across the country to lead it.
The Board must reflect the federal character. I am representing my zone, the North-Central. So, other zones must be allowed to have representatives,’’ Senator Jubrin submitted. The last occupant of the office and former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo resigned from the position last April.