Prince Uche Secondus has secured the first position in the hotly contested National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja, Saturday.
Secondus defeated all the aspirants who contested the coveted position with him in the election which was held at Eagle Square, Abuja on Saturday.
The result of the election was declared in the early hours of Sunday.
Details of the poll had not been officially announced as of the time of going to press.
Secondus received strong backing of the 11 governors elected on the platform of the party, as they stood in solidarity with him throughout the exercise.
However, there were fears that his victory might spark a fresh crisis in the party.
This is as Secondus’ closest rival, Professor Tunde Adeniran stormed out of the Eagle Square, Abuja, venue of the PDP national election, alleging fraud.
Chief Raymond Dokpesi another contestant also protested the result
Adeniran was angered with the emergence of a ‘unity list’, alleged compulsion of delegates to vote for those on the list orchestrated by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, alleged stuffing of ballot boxes and sudden change of ballot boxes midway into the election of candidates.
Adeniran said the affairs of the party should be handed over to the Board of Trustees (BoT) which should conduct a fresh election.
“We reject the entire electoral process. The election has been grossly compromised to achieve a predetermined end. The illegal Unity List is prepared by Governors Wike and Ayodele Fayose to foist on the entire delegates”, Taiwo Akeju, Director, Media and Publicity of the Adeniran Campaign said last night.
“We consider this so-called election as a travesty of democracy and due ?process, which further entrenches the unwholesome culture of impunity that has done a great deal of damage to the party? in the past.”
“Our candidate, Prof. Adeniran and his supporters have just walked out of the convention because the election was a sham.
“The PDP governors came up with Unity List and they and their foot soldiers were forcing delegates to vote for those on the list.
“We were shocked to witness open stuffing of ballot boxes and replacement of boxes against our candidate. The election was not free and fair, it was a sad day for democracy in Nigeria,” he asserted.
Dokpesi also decried irregularities and malpractices during the proceedings.
They made their submissions just as delegates finished voting even before the votes were collated.
Dokpesi told newsmen that the process of voting had been rigged, following the distribution of a unity list containing names of candidates believed to have won elections into various national leadership positions in the party.
He said complaints were lodged with the chairman of the PDP Electoral Committee Chairman Gabriel Suswan who confirmed that he had seen the list with some delegates but that he was overwhelmed.
A former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Olanrewaju Suleiman said he would not accept the result of election into the office of the National Publicity Secretary because the ballot box omitted one of his names, leaving delegates confused.
“I won’t accept the results, I have written the electoral committee and I will go to court,” he said.
Suleiman, in his petition entitled “Unlawful Exclusion of Prof. Abubakar Olanrewaju Suleiman and the Demand For Cancellation of Election into the office of National Publicity Secretary” said: “I am constrained to write to demand for cancelation of election into the office of National Publicity Secretary of our great Party in the on-going Elective Party Convention on the ground of unlawful exclusion of my name as one of candidates contesting for the above mentioned post of Party.
“I am one of the candidates of the above mentioned post in the ongoing elective party convention having obtained application form, duly screened and my candidacy approved to stand for the election.
“I have also campaigned across the nation seeking the support of the bonafide delegates to the convention.
“To my chagrin and utter constellation, I was informed that my name was conspicuously missing from the list of candidates vying for the post of National Publicity Secretary which lists were pasted in booths earmarked for voting into the office of National Publicity Secretary.
“My names are Prof Abubakar Olanrewaju Suleiman, with Suleiman as my surname, a name I have borne and by which I am known by all and sundry. Needless to say this is the name by which I am identified by my teeming supporters who where unlawfully disenfranchised. Suffice to mention that at no time did I hold myself out to bear other name without any other name but ABUBAKAR OLANREWAJU SULEIMAN, Olanrewaju merely being my middle name.
“I therefore pray that the august body would do right by me by cancelling the purported election of today…”