By Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja
Ahead of the October national elective convention of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, incumbent national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and a former national secretary of the party, Brig. Gen. Olagunsoye Oyinlola (retd) are believed to be nursing ambition to vie for the plum office.
Oyinloya’s ambition is said to be enjoying the support of anti-Secondus forces who are bent on having a new man at the helms at the expiration of the life of current National Working Committee, NWC.
Vanguard gathered that though neither Secondus nor Oyinlola have made a public statement on their reported bids; forces within the party loyal to them are working behind the scene with barely two months to the convention.
Secondus, this medium further gathered, is enjoying the support of prominent party leaders including six governors elected on the platform of the party, as well as party chieftains, made up of former governors and ex-ministers.
A former governor of Niger State and member of the party’s National Executive Committee, NEC, Babangida Aliyu is said to be the arrowhead of the pro- Secondus camp, which believe in the school of thought that the ordeals of the Rivers state-born politician are not unconnected with his insistence that things should be done the right away.
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A member of NEC who craved anonymity in a telephone conversation with our correspondent said the number of interested persons is likely to increase in the weeks ahead even as he pointed out that in the interim, “we can only say it is Secondus and Oyinlola as we speak.”
He said: “The number of NEC members supporting Secondus is on the increase. To be fair to him, the man is yet to make a pronouncement but it is difficult to see him backing out.
“Do not forget that a good number of serving and former federal lawmakers are with him and are happy with his stewardship. The chairman has done nothing wrong other than promoting the interest of the party at all times.
“Party chieftains are urging him to test his popularity on the ballot. Yes, he was supported and sponsored four years ago. This time, he will simply ask the party to take a good look at his records and make their decision. It is that simple.”
Meanwhile, Oyinlola’s aspiration is off to a good start given the likelihood of the South-West getting the nod of the party to produce the chairman this time. With the likes of Gbenga Daniel, Rasheed Ladoja and Tunde Adeniran no longer members of the PDP; chances of the former military administrator clinching the top job are very bright.
Visibility, financial wherewithal and vast political network are some of the attributes that may sway the tide in his favour.
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