National Convention: PDP Chairmanship Contenders and Their Chances

By Chibuike Nwabuko

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The National Convention of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (PDP) slated for the 9th of Decemeber 2017 is a week away from now. In view of the heated debate and horse trading, we decided to profile the contestants and analyse the chances of the contenders as the convention approaches. Below are the names and chances of the contenders:

Bode George – Olabode Ibiyinka George popularly known as “Bode George” is a Nigerian politician with military background.

Born on November 21, 1945 in Lagos he earned B.Sc and MBA.  Bode George rose and become a Commodore in the Nigerian Navy. He was the military Governor of Ondo State from July 1988 to September 1990 and the ninth governor of Ondo State.

As governor of Ogun State, Bode George had an outstanding record as the structures he built were key monuments. He established the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo by edict in 1990. George was also a Director at the Nigerian National War College (NWC).

He later became the Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority. Bode George became Principal Staff Officer to General Oladipo Diya when the latter was Chief of General Staff, between 1993 and 1997.

In February 2007, Olabode George called for the resignation of Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who had defected to the Action Congress(AC) party.

In March 2008, the PDP National Chairman, PrinceVincent Ogbulafor dismissed Bode George from the Governing Board of the People’s Democratic Institute (PDI). In April 2008, the PDP National Disciplinary Committee (NDC), which Bode George headed, was dismantled.

He was the National Vice-chairman in the southwest zone of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

Bode George has been in the People’s Democratic Party since the formation of the party and a strong contender for National Chairmanship position in the party’s convention coming up on 9th December 2017.

What will likely be an advantage for Chief Bode George in the forthcoming National chairmanship contest is that as tested hands (Ex-officio), he has experience of the workings of the PDP and His military background will give the party the required courage and boldness a national chairman should possess.

Also, Bode George has been a faithful party member who has remained in the party at both stable and trial moments and as such, he has so far proven to be reliable and committed to the ideals of the party and can be described as a loyal party man.

Bode George is seen to be independent minded, a quality that is necessary to steer the ship of the party without bias.

 

What may also work against him is the incident of October 2009 where Bode George was found guilty and sentenced to jail for 30 months.

Though on December 13, 2013, the Supreme Court discharged the conviction of Bode George. The court, headed by judge John Afolabi Fabiyi said the EFCC had no evidence that George intended to commit fraud at the NPA, and the charges of “contract splitting” was unknown to law.

Uche Secondus – Prince Uche Secondus is a Nigerian businessman and a politician.Secondus was born on 22 March, 1955 and raised in Andoni, Rivers State.

He completed his elementary and secondary education inRivers State. He further attended the London Chambers of Commerce Institute where he obtained a certificate in Commerce.

Secondus’ incursion into politics was during theSecond Republic in 1978. He served as Rivers State Youth Leader of theNational Party of Nigeria (NPN), Rivers State Publicity Secretary of the National Republican Convention (NRC) (1993 – 1998) and a two-term Chairman of theRivers State Peoples’ Democratic Party. While state party chair, he earned the sobriquet “Total Chairman”, and headed an influential group in the National Executive Committee known as G.84.

In 2007, Secondus was the South-South Coordinator for the PDP National Campaign Council that organized the campaigns for the party during that year’s general elections. In 2008, at the People’s Democratic Party Convention, he gained further promotion to National Organizing Secretary, holding office until 2012.

Uche Secondus was the second chairman of the Rivers State Peoples’ Democratic Party, a position he held for two terms. He served as acting Chairman of the PDP National Working Committee from 2015 to 2016 after succeeding the then Chairman (a.k.a the game-changer), Adamu Muazu whose chairmanship witnessed the defeat of  the then ruling PDP.

Secondus was able to firmly control the affairs of the party which suffered its first defeat after being in power for uninterrupted sixteen years without noticeable internal wrangling and fractionalization as is the case shortly after his exit.

His experience as former Acting National Chairman of the PDP National Working Committee as well as his two-term in office as chairman of the Rivers State Peoples’ Democratic Partyconfirm him as a good administrator who understands the game of politics.  These are added advantages and considerations that will enhance his chances in the National Chairmanships Contest come December 9, 2019.

Uche Secondus has always been a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party from its formation till now. He is also a dependable and loyal party member. Rivers State Governor, Barr Nyesom Wike is alleged to be backing Uche Secondus.

Jimi Agbaje – Olujimi Kolawole Agbaje popularly known as JK is a Pharmacist and Politician.

Agbaje attended St. Gregory’s College in Lagos and also graduated in pharmaceutical studies from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife).He held several professional positions such as National Chairman, Nigerian Association of General Practice Pharmacists among others.

It was the annulment of June 12 presidential election that forced him into activism. Jimi was in one form of resistance group or the other which ultimately led him to join the socio-political organization, Afenifere, where he served as national treasurer.

Based on Afenifere’s affiliation, Jimi Agbaje joined the Action Congress (AC) – his first political party. In 2007, Agbaje who had initially aspired to contest for the Governor of Lagos State on the platform of the Action Congress (AC) left the party to join theDemocratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA).

Widely believed to have conducted the best campaign in 2007, Agbaje contested in gubernatorial election on the Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) platform.

He left DPA in 2011 and joined the ruling party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party(PDP) following the de-registration of DPA by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC).

On October 29, 2014, he officially indicated his interest in giving the Lagos State gubernatorial elections another shot by picking up the PDP nomination form. On 8th December 2014, he emerged as the candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party for the 2015 Lagos State gubernatorial election, having defeatedMusiliu Obanikoro in the primary.

He was the 2015 PDP’s Lagos State Governorship candidate, but he lost to Raji Fasola of the Action Congress.

Agbaje has been a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) since 2011. He is believed to be the man of the people and a good politician going by his second position at the 2015 Lagos gubernatorial election attests to this.

It is believed that former Olusegun Mimiko and Ayodele Fayose are the prime movers of Agbaje chairmanship project.

Gnenga Daniel –Gbenga Daniel is a businessman and a politician born in Ibadan, Oyo State on April 6, 1956 into the family of the Most Reverend Adebola Daniel of Makun, Sagamu and late Madam Olaitan Daniel of Omu-Ijebu. He is the owner of the Nigerian Compass, a daily newspaper.

He attended the Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta from 1969 to 1973, followed by studies at the Polytechnic, Ibadan, and the School of Engineering of the University of Lagos.

His main incursion into politics was his election as Governor of Ogun State under the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party.

Daniel was governor of Ogun State from 29 May, 2003 till 29 May, 2011, making his the longest-serving governor of the state.

Otunba Gbenga Daniel was the fourteenth governor of Ogun State and was in office for eight years a feat only him has achieved since the creation of the state.

With this feat, it is believed that Gbenga Daniel understands the game of politics since he was able to hold the PDP intact throughout his eight years without roughing feathers in a state like Ogun State that a former president as an indigene.

Again, Gbenga Daniel has been with the PDP since the formation of the party.

However, his case with the EFCC is another factor that may have influence in his chances. On Wednesday, 12 October 2011, Gbenga Daniel was first arraigned by the EFCC on a 13 count charges over N58 billion.

The trial is still on in the court of Law with Gbenga Daniel having the upper hand as most of the allegations have not been backed with credible and strong facts and documents. The trial has experienced several adjournments.

Raymond Alegho Dokpesi – Raymond Anthony Aleogho Dokpesi is a Nigerian media businessman born in 1951 in Ibadan, Nigeria.

Dokpesi started his early schooling with Loyola College Ibadan. After which he joined the Immaculate Conception College (ICC) Benin City.

He did his undergraduate studies in the University of Benin, Edo State and completed his studies in University of Gdansk, Poland where he earned his Doctorate degree in Marine Engineering. His studies, from secondary school to university level were sponsored by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.

Dr. Raymond Dokpesi Political life started as the Personal Assistant to Alhaji Bamaga Tukur. One of his first political assignments was as a political Campaign Manager for Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, which saw Tukur into the then Gongola state government house. He also assumed the same role during Alhaji Adamu Ciroma’s presidential campaign and Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s presidential campaign in 1993.

Likewise during Peter Odili’s presidential campaign. Dokpesi was one of the leaders of the South-South People Assembly (SSPA), an organisation that seeks to promote south-south people of Nigeria.

Dekpesi is riding on these experiences in his attempt to clinch the Chairmanship position of the party.

Another added advantage to Dokpesi is his action on November 11, 2015 when he,  on behalf of the PDP, made a public apology due to the mismanagement of Nigeria under the PDP governments.

He also criticised the PDP for fielding Jonathan Goodluck as the PDP’s presidential candidate in the March 2015 elections. This common courage exhibited by Dokepsi is also a vital trait for anybody who will make a good chairman for the party.

But his ordeal of December 9, 2015, when his company, Daar Holding and Investment Limited, were charged in the Federal High Court, Abuja in a N2.1bn money laundering scam may hamper his smooth sail.  The FG claimed the money was budgeted for weapons procurement for the Nigerian military to fight the Boko Haram militants, but was allegedly diverted by Dasuki Sambo, the then National Security Advisor, to Dokpesi’s Daar Holding and Investment Limited for the Nigerian presidential election of 2015 in favour of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Tunde Adeniran – Born in Ekiti State in 1945, Professor Tunde Adeniran is a Political Scientist and a product of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and Columbia University in the city of New York, U.S.A.

Adeniran was a staff of the United Nations Organisation in the mid-seventies and also taught in some American Universities before he took up appointment at the University of Ibadan where he worked for twenty (20) years before he retired to go into politics in 1998.

He served as the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany and a recipient of many honours and winner of many distinctions. He was also a beneficiary of scholarships and fellowships while a student (including being the first Nigerian to win the Youth foundation fellowship and the first African to win the Dana Backus Award).

Adeniran, in his capacity as the first Minister of Education (June 1999 – January 2001) in the 4th Republic, made success of the Universal Basic Education Scheme. He is currently a member of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT).

He was Deputy Director General, Jonathan/Sambo Presidential Campaign (2015); Chairman, PDP Presidential Inauguration Committee (1999); and Chairman, Electoral Panel, PDP National Convention (1999).

He was one of those who strongly kicked against the emergence of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as PDP national chairman and sustained the courage until Sheriff was ousted by the Supreme Court on July 12, 2017.

Party leaders like former President Goodluck Jonathan, a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, a former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu have said he has in-depth knowledge of the workings and operational philosophy, vision and mission of the PDP founding fathers.

It has been reported that the ex-minister was in the good books of the BoT members who see him as man of integrity, considering that he had remained in the party from the formation stage to date without jumping ship at any point.

Adeniran, a Professor of Political Science has the backings of the BoT and some governors in the party and also enjoys the support of some former ministers and other stakeholders.

Though he enjoys good will, it is rumoured that he is being sponsored by Senator Buruji Kashamu, who was an ardent supporter of Senator Sheriff at the peak of the leadership crisis in the party.

Rashidi Ladoja – Rashidi Adewolu was born on the 25th September, 1944 in Gambari Village near Ibadan. He attended Ibadan Boys High School (1958–1963) and Olivet Baptist High School (1964–1965). He studied at the University of Liege, Belgium (1966–1972) where he earned a degree in Chemical Engineering.

He was elected to the Senate of Nigeria in 1993 during the short-lived Nigerian Third Republic.

He is a businessman and a politician who became governor of Oyo State in Nigeria on 29 May 2003 under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He was impeached by Oyo State legislators on 12th January 2006, but reinstated in December 2006.

On 1 November 2006, the Appeal Court in the state capital, Ibadan, declared the impeachment null and illegal. The Supreme Court later upheld the decision on November 11, 2009, and Ladajo officially resumed office on December 12, 2006.

On 28 August 2008, Ladoja was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) over allegations of non-remittance of the proceeds of sale of government shares totaling N1.9 billion during his administration.

Ladoja was the governorship candidate for Accord party in Oyo State during the April 2011 elections, he lost to Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

 

 

 

 

 

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