Nigeria News

Nigeria: Intrigues, suspense as PDP elects BoT chair

Dr Bamanga TukurPeoples Democratic Party is expected to elect a Chairman of its Board of Trustees in Abuja on Tuesday (today) night.

The position became vacant after former President Olusegun Obasanjo resigned last year.

However, the tenure of the members of the board, who are not statutory members, will expire in March.

Though the Secretary of the Board, Senator Wali Jubrin, said the chairman of the BoT would emerge after the meeting, investigations by our correspondent showed that some leaders of the PDP have other plans.

It was learnt that some members of the party had suggested that an interim chairman should be appointed to steer the ship of the board till a substantive BoT chairman is elected.

The current board was set up in July 2007 by the former National Chairman of the party, Dr. Ahmadu Ali.

It was learnt that South-West, where Obasanjo comes from, could be allowed to nominate his replacement.

Those being considered for the position in the zone are Chief Richard Akinjide, Senator CK Awoyele, Shuib Oyedokun, Chief Tunde Osurinde, Yekini Adeojo and Dr. Bode Olajumoke.

Oyedokun is said to be having the upper hand because of his popularity.

If this option is not accepted to the generality of the board, a consensus agreement might be reached.

By the tradition of the party, the chairman of the BoT ordinarily is expected to be by consensus.

However, the refusal of the contestants to step down for one another is being viewed as capable of polarising the party if election is held.

Both President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of the party are said to prefer consensus arrangement through which the chairman of the board would emerge.

Towards achieving this, a meeting was expected to hold on Monday night where the Chairman of the party, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, was to appeal to aspirants to step down for the other and allow the emergence of a consensus candidate.

However, where the Monday night meeting is unable to reach a consensus, then, the 98 members of the board will go for an outright election.

If the option of an interim chairman and consensus candidate fails to scale through, the board has already prepared ballot papers where the names of the contestants are printed.

Among those on the paper is former Vice-President, Alex Ekwueme; Akinjide; a former Senate President, Sen. Ken Nnamani and Chief Yekini Adeojo.

Also on the ballot paper for the election are a former Chairman of the party, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo; another former chairman of the party, Sen. Ahmadu Ali, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Chief Anthony Anenih, Chief Don Etiebet and Oyedokun.

While Jonathan is believed to be supporting Anenih, former President Olusegun Obasanjo is behind the candidature of Ali.

The governors are also said to be supporting Nnamani.

Article 32 of the PDP constitution, says that ” all members of the BoT shall serve a term of five years.”

The constitution lists members of the board to comprise all serving and former presidents, vice president, national chairmen and national secretaries, all serving and former senate presidents and speaker of the House of Representatives, all founding members as identified by the constitution, two women to be selected from the zones, three members, one of which must be a woman from the six zones and six persons that have contributed to the growth of the party.

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