Nigeria: New Chairman of Ruling Party Emerges
Alhaji Bamanga Tukur
Abuja — Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has emerged as the new national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following the withdrawal of 10 other aspirants from the race.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that more than 4,500 delegates from 36 states and FCT voted in Abuja on Saturday to affirm his position as the national chairman by voting for Yes or No.
The party gave ballot papers to delegates to affirm since he emerged unopposed.
Also, Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former governor of Osun, emerged the only candidate for the position of national secretary of the party.
NAN also reports that other aspirants for the post had stepped down for him at the venue of the convention.
In the same vein, Chief Olisa Metuh, former Deputy National Chairman South-East, was returned as national publicity secretary, as other aspirants withdrew from the race.
Meanwhile, delegates had described the process leading to the emergence of the new PDP party leaders as transparent.
The aspirants, who withdrew from contest, said their withdrawal was in the interest of the party as well as the unity of members of the PDP.
Meanwhile, Sen. Barnabas Gemade, former national chairman of the party, had moved the motion for the amendment of the party's constitution.
The motion was seconded by Hajia Inna Ciroma, the outgoing national woman leader. (NAN)
PDP constitution amendment "unfortunate"
An amendment of the PDP constitution to include 72 federal lawmakers on its national executive committee has come under criticism from political watchers.
Idris Miliki, a political analyst, called the amendment "an unfortunate situation", insisting it would not be democratic.
The amendment allows each state in the country to have a member of the house of representative and one from the senate on the PDP's executive committee.
In comments to Daily Trust shortly after more than 5,000 delegates at the convention at Eagle Square voted, Miliki said the amendment only favoured the prestige of party members in the National Assembly.
"It's just that they want to be there when decisions are taken," Miliki told Daily Trust by phone.
"They don't want to be sidelined. It's not as if they will make any meaningful contribution to the growth of the party."
Egos on the sideline
In analysis, Miliki suggested that discomfort over the presence of unelected officials on the committee was a difficult situation for elected lawmakers.
"Nigerians like title. A senator [might feel angered] that people not elected should be on the committee."
He noted emergence of winners on party platform routinely subordinated the party structure.
"You should first be elected at state level before national--I think that is how it should be."
"What is your role in your party at state level? How important are you? What is your contribution in terms of ideas and moving the party?"
Consensus candidate is not democratic
The emergence of consensus candidates at the ongoing convention of the People's Democratic Party in Abuja continues to generate strong reactions across the country.
"Consensus candidates is not democratic," Idris Miliki told Daily Trust.
Party authorities suggested consensus candidates could emerge but the massive stepdown of candidates in the final minutes.
All 10 rivals of Bamanga Tukur dropped out of the race, leaving him sole candidate to chair the party, though a yes-or-no affirmation vote has begun at the convention venue.
Three uncontested candidates for three other positions will also undergo affirmation vote.
Other positions were given out in aye-or-nay motion, in which delegates voted by shouting their preference.
"These things are dynamic," said head of the convention committee Ojo Maduekwe this morning on live TV.
He added, "We will never know the state of things until when the contest is announced.
In reaction, political analyst Milike said, "What you are seeing there is also part of what you have seen in their primaries."
"PDP has never been willing to conduct elections and that is the problem you have even at primary level and general elections.
"Why don't the candidates go to contest and let people vote according to their minds?"
"When you say consensus candidate, you have imposed candidates, people have been given the right chance to cast their vote."
"If you know you are going to do consensus candidates, you don't need to bring people all the way to Abuja."
"Whatever happens there you are also going to see it in their primaries. At the end of the day, the person emerges as election winner. And that's why you have not seen any development."
Consensus candidates dominate PDP convention, as candidates drop out
Bamanga Tukur has emerged the consensus candidate to chair the People's Democratic Party, after all other ten rivals pulled out of the race.
The convention to elect national officials of the party has been beset by a raft of candidates standing down.
The positions, held by sole unchallenged candidates, are being filled by ayes-or-nay motion.
Yes or no vote by ballot will be used to fill five positions--including deputy national secretary and national financial secretary.
Many of the candidates dropping out of the race cited "advice by leaders" and "peace of the party."
Among sole candidates are Umar Ibrahim, unchallenged for deputy national auditor.
The deputy national youth leader is also a sole candidature, to be given by motion vote to Dennis Arokpe
Garba Chida was returned as youth leader, unopposed.
Abubakar Mustapha, a sole candidate, is returned as national organising secretary.
Sam Sam Jaja, of Rivers, sole candidate for deputy national chairman. Hope Uzodinma moves motion to ratify Jaje's position, seconded by Mohammed Waheed.
Olagunsoye Oyinlola is sole candidate for national secretary. All others stepped down.
"These things are dynamic," said head of the convention committee Ojo Maduekwe this morning on live TV. "We will never know the state of things until when the contest is announced.
He said "as of this morning, they were getting close to having a consensus candidate" among some of the candidates for specific positions.
10,000 police deployed to secure PDP convention in Abuja
By Ronald Mutum
Police in Abuja have deployed 10,000 men to provide security and ensure a hitch free PDP convention.
FCT police spokesman Superintendent Jimoh Moshood told Daily Trust that men from the police mobile force, the anti-bomb squad, dog squad, mounted troops, and conventional police men were dispatched to provide security in and around the Eagle square.
He said the selected men carried out a simulation exercise before the Inspector General of police IG M.D Abubakar at the Eagle Square yesterday.
According to him the security measures include cordoning all roads to Eagle Square and creating about eight diversions where unauthorized vehicles are redirected.
The police image maker added that the acting commissioner of police for the FCT, AIG Michael Zuokumor toured the city today to ensure that security personnel were at their designated posts.
Apart from maintaining peace and order around the convention centre, the police are also deployed to carry out traffic duties.
The police PRO also said that the force medical emergency department and ambulance units were on standby and at alert.
"The police are also working in consonance with other security agencies towards a hitch free and successful convention," he added.
Nearly 100 positions to fight for
The delegates are to elect members to fill party positions--from chairman to adviser--contested by at least 74 people.
Positions to the filled and the number of contenders so far include:
Deputy National Chairman (6)
National Secretary (11)
National Organising Secretary (7)
Deputy National Secretary (2)
National Youth Leader (11).
National Auditor (4)
National Woman Leader (10)
National Publicity Secretary (8)
National Financial Secretary (3)
National Treasurer (4)
National Legal Adviser (1)
Some of the biggest contenders include Bamanga Tukur of Adamawa though reports yesterday spoke of frantic efforts to build support for Tukur's bid to become the national chairman of the party.
"Our camp is set and we are getting ready to move," said Ahmed Shuaibu Bara of Gombe, spokesman for Bamanga Tukur campaign.
"As far as we are concerned, victory is sure."
Ten other contenders are in line for the chairmanship, pitching camps of supporters will be pitched against each other.
They and their states include:
Gambo Lawan, Borno;
Musa Babayo, Bauchi;
Rufai Ahmed Alkali, Gombe;
Shettima Mustapha, Borno;
Idris Waziri, Taraba;
Mohammed Abba Aji, Borno;
Ibrahim Bunu, Borno;
Adamu Bello, Adamawa;
Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Borno
Ahmed Muazu, Bauchi
Aspirants for deputy national chairman are:
Uche Secondus, Rivers;
Omu Stella Unvezi, Delta;
Nkpubre Edet Okon, Akwa-Ibom;
Jaja Sam Sam, Rivers;
Bassey Samuel Ethothi, Cross River
Okon, Aniete Udo, Akwa-Ibom.
Aspirants for national secretary:
Oke Olusola Alex, Ondo;
Adeniran Tunde, Ekiti;
Sarumi Oladapo Babatunde, Lagos;
Fabiyi Anthony Oladimeji, Ogun;
Akin-Deko Akintayo, Ondo;
Adedoja Taoheed, Oyo;
Salis Owolabi, Lagos;
Olu-Ojo Bola, Ekiti;
Babatope Ebenezer Oluwole, Osun;
Pedro Olufemi Olusegun, Lagos
Daramola Joseph Babtunde, Lagos.
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