The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants for the position of the National Chairman of the party have on Tuesday arose from a crucial meeting with party stakeholders with a consensus decision to all fight it out at the forthcoming national convention of the party in December 9 and to allow the best candidate to emerge.
The eight aspirants for the party’s chairmanship spent part of last weekend and Monday meeting with members of Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party, Senate Caucus of the party and National Executive Committee (NEC) members; after which they met the Senator Ahmad Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee at the party’s headquarters Tuesday afternoon.
Briefing the press after meeting with Makarfi, one of the aspirants, Chief Olabode George, said “We have decided to allow every aspirant contest and let the best man win. There is no quarrel between us. You can see all of us now holding hands because we decided to go to the convention and contest and let the best man win.
“That is the spirit of the party. That is the spirit we are sending to the public. We want to show the people that we are better managers. If we can manage ourselves and our party, we will be able to manage this country on their behalf.”
The eight chairmanship aspirants of the party who have been campaigning vigorously recently are: Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Chief Olabode George, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Otumba Gbenga Daniel, Prof Taoheed Adedoja and Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Jimmy Abaje and Uche Secondus.
At the 76th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting which lasted for six hours, from 2 to 8pm, the party had fixed the National Convention for December 9, 2017.
Among the issues discussed at the NEC meeting were scrutinizing all legal and constitutional provisions of the party in order to have a smooth and legally binding results at the convention and approval of guidelines for 2017 Congresses and national convention.
Others were waver for candidates in Anambra and Oyo PDP and submission for approval of the forthcoming national convention.
Party leaders such as former President Goodluck Jonathan and former military head of state, Ibrahim Babangida, were among the frontline stakeholders and power brokers approached by all the contenders for endorsement and support.
Some aspirants have also contacted former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who served as Nigerian president on the party’s platform for eight years, but later tore his PDP membership card in dramatic fashion prior to the 2015 general elections to show his displeasure over how the party conducted its affairs.
Receiving some of the aspirants, Jonathan said this is the toughest chairmanship contest since the PDP was instituted in 1998, noting however that it is a healthy development for Nigeria’s democracy and the party.