#PDPConvention2017: Nyesom Wike’s coronation as ‘kingmaker’ and other fall-outs


Nigeria’s main opposition party, PDP, took the first major step in its bid to regain access to the country’s seat of power, Aso Rock, yesterday with a National Convention that produced Uche Secondus as the party’s new National Chairman and tons of other aggrieved persons.

Here are five possible fall-outs from the event:

Governors 1 – 0 Godfathers

Since the resolve of the party to put its mess together and challenge the ruling All Progressives Congress, the governors in its rank, rallied by Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, and highly influential non-political office holders headed by former Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida have been wrestling for the control of the party.

The National Conference represented a war they fought through proxies who were the candidates of the various positions up for grabs to ensure dominance and make a statement. Ultimately, despite stiff challenge from their opponents, it was the Governors who claimed a significant victory with the emergence of their rumored candidate, Uche Secondus.

This victory is expected to send ripples that would rage on till 2019, especially when it is time to produce flag-bearers.

No respite for Atiku

It has since been established that Atiku’s decision to join the PDP was hinged on his desire to get a platform to contest and likely defeat Muhammadu Buhari or any other candidate the APC presents.

With several sources claiming that the godfathers were responsible for Atiku’s return to the PDP having given him an assurance that he would get the ticket, their defeat yesterday as highlighted in the point above and Atiku’s rather chilly relationship with the governors, have presented another steep hill to climb for the Wazirin of Adamawa.

More splinter groups?

The National Convention, according to several members of the PDP, was meant to strengthen and unite the party. However, the reverse was the case as bigwigs such as Bode George, Tunde Adeniran and Raymond Dokpesi were left with a bitter taste following allegations of bribery and corruption, manipulation of votes and a disregard for democratic principles that schemed them out after expensive campaigns and lobbying across the country.

It is unclear what the next action of these people and other aggrieved persons would be but unless the PDP, through its post-convention reconciliation committee, acts quickly, it might end with a similar situation in 2015 when a splinter group left the party to swell the rout of the opposition and helped it to victory.

Same old PDP

Unless another consensus is reached, ‘Change The Change’ looks like the adopted slogan of the PDP but from yesterday’s event, the party is turning out to be the proverbial leopard that cannot change its spot.

Unity list, rain of cash, doctored delegated list containing the name of a dead governor and a host of other irregularities marred the conference and rendered it an exercise in futility as party members such as Bode George and Tunde Adeniran described the event as a charade.

All of these do not inspire confidence especially in the minds of voters who are looking on to the party for an escape from the ills of the All Progressives Congress.

End of the road for Olisa Metuh?

The former publicity secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, offended a lot of persons when he attempted to join former President Goodluck Jonathan in his ongoing corruption trial. With the move, it looks like Mr Metuh has driven the final nail into his coffin as the party rebuffed his attempt to gain access to the VIP section at the convention. He had to seek refuge with the delegates from his home state.

With an unofficial denial from the party and influential political figures he is counting on for support, it doesn’t look like this prodigal son will be getting another chance.

Article written by ‘Shina Peter, follow him on Twitter – @Shina_Pitta


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