The Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) has elected 74-year old Prof. Bankole Adelaja-Okuwa as its new National Chairman. The National Secretary of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Sokoto, confirmed this to Newsmen on Tuesday. Sokoto explained that Adelaja-Okuwa was elected by delegates to UPN’s first national convention held in Kaduna to replace the former interim national chairman, Dr Frederick Fasehun. According to him, the convention also retained all the other national caretaker committee members with Dr Manzo Abubakar as the Deputy National Chairman. Other national officers that retained their positions are the six national vice chairmen of the party, he said. The scribe said that the new chairman had pledged in his acceptance speech to serve “the party and Nigeria responsibly and patriotically’’. The don urged aggrieved members of the party to sheath their swords and work for the success of the party at all levels, he said. Adelaja-Okuwa, according to the secretary, is a professor of Political Science and had represented Ijebu-Ode in the Ogun state House of Assembly in the Second Republic. Sokoto said he (new chairman) told the convention that the UPN had not fielded any candidate for the presidential election and advised Nigerians to disregard any speculation of adoption of a candidate. However, the secretary said that the party had fielded eight governorship candidates, 17 senatorial candidates, seven for House of Representatives and 68 for state Houses of Assembly for the upcoming general elections. According to him, the convention also amended some sections of the party’s constitution to strengthen its operations and contribution to national development. The convention, he said, was monitored by a joint team from the INEC headquarters in Abuja led by Mr Musa Husunu, with Mr Asuquo Uye and four others from the INEC office in Kaduna supporting.
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