• As 36 states adopt Secondus
From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Ahead of today’s National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), one of the leading aspirants to the chairmanship position of the party, Chief Bode George has withdrawn from the race.
The development came yesterday even as indications emerged that 36 states of the federation have adopted the former acting chairman of the party, Uche Secondus for the plum position.
Yesterday, before George’s withdrawal, the Chairman of the Screening Sub Committee, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu had told journalists that nine aspirants were cleared to contest for the chairmanship seat.
The aspirants according to him are former acting National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, former Minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran, former PDP Deputy National Chairman, Chief Olabode George and former Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Professor Taoheed Adedoja. Others are former Chairman of Daar Communications, High Chief, Raymond Dokpesi, Oyo State governor, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, his Ogun State counterpart, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, 2015 PDP governorship candidate in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje and one Aderemi Olusegun.
Also, speaking at the PDP national secretariat yesterday, Delta State governor and Chairman of the Convention Planning Committee, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, reiterated his promise that the convention will be conducted in a transparent manner.
Okowa said the committee has also taken serious measures to enhance security during the exercise.
“We are very much aware of the security alert about Abuja. The security committee is working very closely with the security agencies to ensure a smooth convention,” he said.
Meanwhile, before the other states of the federation adopted Secondus, the South East caucus of the party had earlier thrown its weight behind the Rivers State born PDP chieftain.
After a closed door meeting held at Chelsea Hotel, Abuja, PDP National Vice chairman, South East, Austin Umahi, told journalists that party leaders in the zone had decided to support Secondus to emerge as the next national chairman.
The meeting was attended by Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, former governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Sam Egwu, former PDP National Chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, members of the National Assembly from the zone among other party leaders.
Umahi said the South East leaders took the decision after examining all the aspirants jostling for the chairmanship seat of the opposition party.
Similarly, the Edo State chapter of the PDP rejected one of its leaders, Raymond Dokpesi, who is contesting for the national chairmanship of the party to pave way for Secondus.
In a statement jointly signed by Dan Orbih and Felix Imoisili, chairman and secretary respectively, the Edo PDP said it had adopted Secondus for the chairmanship position in line with the decision of the South South caucus of the party.