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PDP plans ‘mini-convention’ to elect chairman, secretary, woman leader

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has commenced plans to reposition the party as a viable opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Daily Trust…

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has commenced plans to reposition the party as a viable opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Daily Trust learnt on Tuesday.

Multiple sources in the party told Daily Trust that a mini-convention, expected to hold between January and February, has become imperative to tinker with the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, reposition it as a viable opposition and begin work in earnest for the 2027 elections.

Already, three main position seats are vacant in the NWC – the position of the national chairman left by Dr Iyorchia Ayu, national secretary which has been a bone of contention in the party between the NWC and the South East Caucus and the National Woman Leader due to the death of Prof. Stella Effah-Attoe.

Ayu, who had gone to court to challenge his suspension by the Igyorov Ward executive of his Gboko LGA of Benue State and confirmation by the Benue High Court which barred him from parading himself as the chairman, has been prevailed upon to withdraw his case from court.

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PDP plans ‘mini-convention’ to elect chairman, secretary, woman leader

Recently, the acting National Chairman of the party, Amb. Umar Damagum, announced the appointment of Setonji Koshoedo as the acting National Secretary following the impasse over the position by the NWC and South East Caucus of the party.

The South East Caucus had appointed Udeh Okoye in the absence of Senator Samuel Anyanwu, the then secretary, when he won the nomination of the party to contest the November 11 Imo governorship.

Having lost at the polls, Anyanwu and Okoye are now laying claim to the position, a development that was poised to add to the mounting challenges in the party before the intervention of the NWC asking both parties to stand down.

Daily Trust reliably gathered that the party, having zoned the position to the South East, might be forced to go for a neutral candidate for the position at the convention to prevent the situation from escalating since both parties are already in court and have gotten separate injunctions in their favour.

Chairmanship to remain in North Central

Meanwhile, among those angling to replace Ayu as party chairman are former Senate President Bukola Saraki and Senator Gabriel Suswam, a former Governor of Benue State. Both are from the North Central where Ayu hails from.

The recent visits exchanged between Senator Saraki and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, sources said, were part of the move to position Saraki for the party’s top job, having been seen by many party leaders and elders as someone with what it takes to rally the party from its present predicament.

However, those working for Suswam are said to be insisting that the chairman of the party must remain in Benue, for the state to complete the tenure of Ayu who is also from the state.

Thus, those working to stabilise the party following an acrimonious presidential primary, campaigns and how the party lost the elections, are expected to put their acts together to determine where the pendulum will swing during the mini-convention.

Secretary’s position a constitutional matter – NWC member

Speaking with Daily Trust on the impasse surrounding the position of secretary, Timothy Osadolor, a member of the NWC said it is a constitutional matter, adding that “it is only when a man takes up appointment or resumes another office by way of winning election that he automatically stops to function in the NWC. The constitution did not say if you want to contest election, you must resign.”

Osadolor, who is also the Deputy National Youth Leader, said, “Anyanwu did not take up any appointment, he did not win election, if he had won the election, it would be a different thing. The constitution did not say that you must resign if you are going to contest election. If they feel very strongly about their position, there are constitutional ways to go about it.”

According to him, “For those in the South East that are saying they have removed him, the position was zoned to the South East and micro-zoned to Imo State, but there is nowhere in the constitution that says a zonal caucus can remove a member of the NEC or NWC: it is alien to our constitution. They might not like Samuel Anyanwu, but the issue is a constitutional matter.”

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