PDP Consensus Talks Collapse, Throws Race Open

After hours of grilling by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Governors Forum in Enugu, all national chairman candidates yesterday opted for an election instead of a consensus choice.

They also opposed imposition of any candidate by the Governors Forum, opting to allow the delegates determine their fate at the December 9 convention.

As at last night, five of the candidates were ahead in the permutations by party leaders.

The top contenders are Prince Uche Secondus; Chief Olabode George; Prof. Tunde Adeniran; Prof. Taoheed Adedoja and Otunba Gbenga Daniel.

Sources at the meeting, which ended about midnight, told The Nation PDP governors interviewed the candidates on their vision and perspectives on the convention.

A source described it as “a grilling and exhaustive session”.

The source said: “The Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Mr. Ayo Fayose, presided over the session and coordinated the grilling. Each of the candidates was given 10 minutes to address all the PDP governors on their vision for the party and perspectives on the national convention.

“The candidates were all allowed to be in the hall to listen to each other’s presentation. The process was fair and transparent. Nobody was screened but all candidates were asked to respond to questions from the governors and party leaders, including the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of PDP, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi.

“But at the end of the day, the candidates rejected proposals for either a consensus candidate or a candidate picked by the governors.”

Another source at the session said PDP Governors Forum appreciated the magnitude of the election at the national convention.

The source added: “What the governors thought was an easy ride to impose a candidate wasn’t the case at all. All the candidates came prepared and were ready for the battle ahead.

“The governors had no choice but to tread softly and allow the process to run its course. If they are backing any candidate, it was obvious they have to do more work.”

A governor added: “It is now left to all candidates to sell their programmes to delegates in order to win votes. We have to choose the next chairman on merit.

“It is becoming apparent that PDP governors may eventually go their separate ways. The probability of endorsing a common candidate by the governors is now slimmer.”