PDP Convention 7 things we learnt from opposition party's election

Here are the lessons we drew from the just concluded national convention of the PDP.

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7 things we learnt from opposition party's election play

Atiku Abubakar (right) at the PDP national convention on Saturday, December 9, 2017

(The Cable)
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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has just concluded its national convention.

Here are the seven things we learnt from the elective national convention of Nigeria's biggest opposition party....

1. Southwest is marginalised caucus within PDP

Of the nine candidates who vied for the position of chairman of the PDP, seven hailed from the geopolitical Southwest zone.

Just hours before the convention however, six of the Southwest candidates had withdrawn from the race, citing non-transparency, flouting of the party's zoning formula and plans to rig the vote in favour of the eventual winner, Uche Secondus.

Jimi Agbaje withdraws from PDP chairmanship race play Jimi Agbaje was a PDP chairmanship aspirant (My newswatch)

 

Months before this convention, there was a gentleman's agreement within the PDP ceding the position of Chairman to the Southwest.

However, Jimi Agbaje, Bode George, Rasheed Ladoja, Gbenga Daniel announced their withdrawal when it became clear they wouldn't be getting the support of the most powerful blocs within the party.

So long, Southwest PDP.

2. Old habits die hard

Until it was sent packing from the center in 2015, the PDP carved a reputation for rigging elections, imposing candidates and shunning internal democracy principles.

As voting progressed on Saturday, it looked as though the PDP was....well....still the PDP.

Some State chapters said their list of delegates had been tampered with. A dead man's name even found its way into a list of accredited delegates.

play The Unity List (Tribune)

 

A 'Unity List' soon found its way into the convention venue, specifying which candidates delegates should vote for. It was a list of 'winners' before the election.

As it turned out, winners on the Unity List became eventual winners at the close of convention.

Meaning that delegate voting mattered little at the end of the day. There was already a list of winners before the first vote was cast in anger.

ALSO READ: Here are the new executives of opposition party

The era of anointed candidates in the PDP is far from over.

Power to the godfathers!

3. Bode George can blow grammar sha

When Lagos' PDP godfather, Olabode George announced his decision to withdraw from the chairmanship race, he left us a classic withdrawal press statement to go with it.

It was a statement laden with sophistry and plenty 'Oyinbo', you had no choice but to applaud.

"The Peoples Democratic Party has now mangled and distorted its soul and spirit. There is no morality here anymore. There is no sanity or any sense of enlightened civility", George wrote.

PDP chieftain, Bode George speaks on son's death play Olabode George was schemed out of chairmanship tussle (Punch)

 

Hold on, there's more from 'boy George': "The party has lost its soul. It has lost its principled beginning and the predications of righteousness. It has traded the finer principles of democratic guidance and equity for the squalid, dirty and shameful resort to mercenary agenda where nothing matters save the putrid, oafish gains of the moment.

"The PDP has obviously allowed money moguls to dictate its thematic largeness".

Ekwe!

Here's another collector's item from George's speech-writer, just because you asked.

You are welcome:

"As a result of these observed aberrations wherein the position of the National Chairman has been apparently sold and auctioned to the highest bidder, I, as an Omoluabi and as an authentic Atona of Yorubaland, will not partake in this charade.

Bode George play Chief Olabode George (Twitter)

 

"I, hereby, withdraw from this brazen fraud and absolutely preconceived, monetized, mercantilist convention.

"The Yoruba people have been openly maligned. The Yoruba have been savaged, tormented, treated with contempt, scurried, scoffed at, humiliated and denigrated by little men whose sun will soon set".

George may have lost the election, but we are just thankful he's won a speech-writer in the process.

4. Governors are still very powerful within PDP

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State appeared on national TV on the eve of convention and declared that Uche Secondus was going to emerge chairman.

And so it was.

play A cast of powerful PDP politicians (The Nation)

 

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State also threw his weight behind Secondus. All the PDP Governors with enormous political clout backed Secondus.

As the votes were tallied well into Sunday morning, everyone knew there was going to be only one winner.

5. Political parties still can't conclude elections during the day

There were just under 3,000 delegates for the PDP national convention.

However, results were announced at 3am on Sunday for a convention that commenced at 11am the previous day.

ALSO READ: Adeniran rejects electoral process, says it was fraudulent

An election of 3,000 persons for a dozen positions couldn't be concluded in record time.

Just priceless!

Dokpesi faults electoral process at PDP national convention play Raymond Dokpesi pumps fist with delegates (Twitter)

 

It just tells you that politicians love counting their votes at night. They also love their meetings at night time.

Nocturnal much?

6. PDP is still a disjointed house

The cessation of legal hostilities between Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi was supposed to forge the PDP into a united house capable of giving the governing APC a run for its money in 2019.

Read full text of opposition party tearing APC apart play Atiku Abubakar returns home to PDP (Twitter/@atiku)

 

With several aspirants railing against the PDP's famed strong-arm tactic and imposition techniques after this convention, with some members staging furious walkouts from the convention venue, you have to agree that the PDP is far from a united front at the moment.

7. Olisa Metuh is no longer a PDP big boy

Chief Olisa Metuh was once the most vocal member of the PDP while serving as the party's spokesperson.

Those were the days when Metuh could saunter into and emerge from any VIP section of a crowd; a spring in his steps.

Not anymore.

When Metuh attempted to head into the VIP section of the State box where former President Goodluck Jonathan was sitting pretty, he was bounced so hard, the rest of Abuja felt the tremor.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan and Senator Bukola Saraki play Goodluck Jonathan exchanges pleasantries with politicians (DailyTimes)

 

The security personnel wouldn't let Metuh proceed even after angry words were exchanged.

Recall that Metuh is being prosecuted for allegedly receiving the sum of N400M from former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

5 times Olisa Metuh went dramatic during trial play Olisa Metuh in handcuffs during his trial (Lagos Television)

 

During his trial, Metuh asked Jonathan to come testify as a special witness, but the former president asked his former party spokesperson to pay N1B into his account in transportation and logistic costs, before he'll even consider making the trip from Bayelsa to Abuja.

Poor Metuh can't ask Jonathan to testify for him and can't even be allowed to see Jonathan at his party's convention these days.

It's a complete turnaround.

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