By Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja
Ahead of its October 31 national elective convention, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP generated a total sum of N63 million from the sale of nomination forms to aspirants vying for various offices.
The convention, billed to hold at the Eagles Square, Abuja, has 33 aspirants contesting for various leadership positions in the main opposition party.
It would be recalled that the party had earlier fixed N5 million for the national chairmanship forms while those vying for the deputy national chairman and national secretary were expected to pay the sum of N3 million each.
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While fee for other substantive offices was pegged at N2 million each, nomination forms into national deputy offices were slated for N750, 000 each.
Amongst the 33 aspirants, Iyorchia Ayu (Benue), Ahmed Mohammed (Gombe), Umaru Bature (Sokoto), Daniel Woyengikuro (Bayelsa) and Kamaldeen Ajibade (Kwara) are consensus candidates for the positions of national chairman, national treasurer, national financial secretary and national legal adviser respectively.
A stiff contest is expected for the position of deputy national chairman (South) where Taofeek Arapaja, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Wale Oladipo all picked and submitted forms to test their popularity at the convention.
While Oyo state governor is sponsoring Arapaja, Oladipo, former PDP national secretary is backing on the support of Senator Ademola Adeleke and a good number of PDP stakeholders from Osun state to coast home to victory. Oyinlola on the other hand, is heading to the convention on his own, having seen earlier support from Makinde swayed in the direction of Arapaja. Oyinlola and Oladipo both hail from Osun state while Arapaja is from Oyo.
For the position of deputy national chairman (North), former Minister of Women Affairs and a one-time PDP national woman leader, Hajia Maryam Ina Ciroma is up against Ambassador Umar Damagum. Hajia Ciroma hails from Borno state while Damagum is from neighboring Yobe state.
Similarly, ex- national vice chairman (South-West) of the PDP, Eddy Olafeso and a former House of Representatives member, Debo Olagunagba are intent on succeeding Kola Ologbondiyan as the party’s national publicity secretary.
Anambra state which had the national auditor’s office micro-zoned to it failed to settle for a consensus candidate as the trio of Okechukwu Daniel, Ikechukwu Nwosu and Mrs. Chibuogwu Benson-Oraelosi will test their popularity among party delegates at the convention ground.
It is the same for Cross River state where renowned academic, Professor Stella Effa-Attoe is vying for the position of national woman leader against Hon. Divine Arong.
All aspirants for the various party offices were on Wednesday, screened by the Bello Adoke-led screening committee.