As all candidates insist on testing popularity during December convention
Aspirants agree to work together, support whoever emerges – Fayose
Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ended their meeting in Enugu State on Monday with all the national chairmanship candidates for the December 9 national convention of the party failing to agree on a consensus candidate, as all the aspirants insisted on going to the field to test their popularity.
This is ahead of the party’s national convention where the party is expected to elect its next chairman along with other executive members to pilot its affairs going into the 2019 general election.
The meeting which started at about 7.45 pm on Sunday night at the Enugu Government House did not end until the early hours of Monday without any of the nine contenders backing down from the race as expected by the party hierarchy.
The aim of the meeting, according to an insider, was part of effort to select a consensus candidate from among the nine aspirants ahead of the convention slated for December in Abuja But with the failure of the governors and party leaders in harmonising the interests of the aspirants in Enugu, it is now expected that all the candidates will head to the convention and solicit for support of delegates.
Although the party had earlier zoned the chairmanship to the South and the Southern leadership further zoned it to the South West geopolitical zone, but aspirants from the South South zone are also in the race.
The chairmanship candidates present at the meeting include Bode George, Jimi Agbaje, Gbenga Daniel, Tunde Adeniran, Rasheed Ladoja, and Taoheed Ladoja, all from the South West, as well as Raymond Dokpesi and Uche Secon dus, both from South South.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, the chairman of PDP Governor’s Forum and governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, said: “Our aspirants, PDP chairmanship aspirants have agreed to work together, whosoever emerges as the chairman of the party will be supported by all of us.”
Fayose further stated: “We met in Enugu State Government House to deliberate on our national convention and we took time off to meet with the chairmanship aspirants, believing that we want to have a convention that all parties in Nigeria will emulate; convention that will represent the word democracy and serve as template for other parties.
“We have responsible people vying for the office of chairman of the PDP nationally and we are on one page and the page is the PDP first and PDP first. “And we are leaving Enugu today (Monday) believing that the PDP will take over power by 2019.
“And we have equally agreed, believing we have all it takes to take over Anambra and I believe that our people in Anambra, the Anambrarians have worked very hard, they deserve victory. And we are using this opportunity to ask that that election must be credible, not only credible but seen to be credible.
“I want to believe that Nigeria is of age to do elections that will be acceptable internationally, home and abroad and we want to believe that we will take the day on the 18th of this month in the Anambra governorship election.”
The governors met with party leaders and chairmanship aspirants, before the second round meeting that included the governors and national caretaker committee chairman and secretary, Ahmed Makarfi and Ben Obi. Aside from Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi, who sent his deputy, Kelechi Igwe, 10 other governors were in attendance.
They include host governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu; Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayoye; Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike; Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade; and Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson.
Others were Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, Taraba State governor, Darius Ishiaku, and Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa. Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi and former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido were also present. The national caretaker committee chairman, Ahmed Makarfi; secretary, Ben Obi and vice chairman South East, Augustine Umahi, also attended the meeting. Also sighted were some party leaders such as Tom Ikimi, and Kema Chikwe
Moses Oyediran, Enugu and Charles Onyekwere Abakaliki