A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Bolaji Adeniji, has said nothing can justify the 2,000 votes scored by the newly-elected National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, at the national convention held on Saturday.
The party chief, who was a National Ex-Officio, said it was unthinkable that Secondus could garner such score, while the runner-up and former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, had just 230 votes.
Adeniji, now the Publicity Secretary of the party in Ogun State, blame the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose; and the outgone Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, for manipulating the process.
He said in a statement he issued in the early hours of Sunday: “The National Convention in the early hours of today returned Prince Uche Secondus as the National Chairman with 2000 votes, far ahead of his nearest challenger, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, who posted 230 votes. Now certain things are pertinent from all that transpired in the last three days.
“That the PDP had a National Convention that was already compromised/rigged ‘inter alia’ in favour of a desperate cabal, seeking party control for very self-seeking purposes; The ‘Unity list’ foisted on delegates, being the outward manifestation of the underground fraud.
“That the trio of Wike, Fayose and Makarfi, conspired to deny Yorubaland the opportunity to emerge National Chairman of the party, thus relegating a major zone like the South West to the backwater of relevance in the PDP.
“The indicators early on at the convention ground suggested a likely (but marginal) Secondus victory owing largely to heavy financial inducement of delegates which swung the South South, South East and Benue, Ogun, Ekiti States in his favour, but the declared result in the end was shocking and showed an alarming post-voting rigging through covert votes allocation.
“Nothing could justify Secondus’ 2000 votes to Adeniran’s 230 votes. It is inconceivable and a deliberately executed electoral fraud of the most sordid type never seen in the history of the PDP. Are we to say 17 of the Northern States and four South West states outrightly betrayed Adeniran and no longer voted for him; or that they indeed voted but culminated into mere 230 votes; whereas delegates from these areas approximate over 800.
“That the outgone (and better forgotten) Makarfi NCC commercialized its tenure, executed a brazen fraud and eventually sold the party to the highest bidder in Wike/Secondus.
“It must also be said that the convention planning committee and its subcommittees fell to the huge inducement of Wike and Fayose by deliberate disqualification of certain aspirants and being lax in its role especially the electoral subcommittee that opened the door to such malfeasance.
“The prognosis arising, therefore, from this charade of a convention that birthed the Secondus NWC is that, the party may have lost the golden opportunity to reinvent itself and position as viable alternative to the faltering APC. The party also bungled the chance to end impunity, tyranny of minority over the majority and establishment of a truly democratic party where the free will of the people is respected and agreed principles are adhered to.
“The Secondus NWC being a creation of fraud will not enjoy the support of members nationwide and especially the Southwest whose ‘legitimate right’ was usurped by Wike and Secondus. Fayose on his part, traded the birthright of his people and will end his days regretting the huge indiscretion.
“That this convention has been gravely contaminated by Makarfi through the participation of unworthy delegates primarily from the Southwest. The contamination also goes as far as disobedience to valid court judgements/orders to – wit – Ogun PDP and the South West.
“Consequently, as we inch towards 2019, the coming weeks will witness backlashes from this convention, and those that supervised, supported and became beneficiaries of the elaborate fraud, should be ready to bear, manage the consequences of its outcome.
“In all, the alarm and concerns raised by some southwest patriots on the motives of Makarfi’s actions have now been validated by the sad outcome of this convention. Much more also, the likes of Fayose, Wike and their collaborators will need to deal with the sting of a vexed and raped southwest that will now rethink their participation in this union; with 2019 in mind.”