If another calamity does not befall it, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is on course to elect a new party chairman by December 2017.
In keeping with the party’s decision to zone the position to the South, all the candidates who have declared so far hail from the region.
Important to note: The December convention is also expected to elect other members of the PDP National Working Committee and ratify amendments to the party’s constitution.
So far, the following people have declared interest to lead the party:
- Gbenga Daniel
- Uche Secondus
- Taoheed Adedoja
- Bode George
- Tunde Adeniran.
Also believed to be interested but yet to officially declare are:
- Raymond Dokpesi (who recently returned to the fold after briefly defecting)
- Liyel Imoke (former Cross River governor)
- Jimi Agbaje (former Lagos PDP guber candidate).
Interesting points to note about the contenders:
- They are all men.
- Despite the zoning to the South of the country, no candidate from the South East (a strong PDP base) is in contention. Only one candidate has declared interest from the South South — Prince Uche Secondus, the party’s former deputy national chairman and acting chairman from Rivers State who was removed by the courts.
- The average age of the five declared candidates is 66.2 years. (Nigeria’s life expectancy is 53 years).
- If you include the ages of the three other prospective candidates, the average age drops slightly to 64 years.
- Youngest declared candidate is Gbenga Daniel who is 61 years old. Oldest declared candidate is Tunde Adenira at 71 years old. Although Bode George is also 71, Adeniran turns 72 this month while George meets up with him in November.
Profiles in one sentence:
- Gbenga Daniel: A former Ogun governor from 2003 to 2011 whose tenure was noteworthy for his battles with former Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo who also hails from Ogun.
- Uche Secondus: The 62-year old former PDP deputy national chairman under Adamu Muazu and a close ally of Rivers governor, Nyesom Wike.
- Taoheed Adedoja: This 66-year old professor is an ex-dean of faculty of education at the Bayero University, Kano; a former minister of sports and special duties; and recently announced a 15-point focus to be implemented if he is elected chairman.
- Bode George: A former PDP national vice chairman (South West) and ex-chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) who was infamously jailed for 30 months in 2009 but had the conviction discharged by the Supreme Court in 2013.
- Tunde Adeniran: An ex-minister of education; ex-ambassador to Germany; the Deputy Director General, Jonathan/Sambo Presidential Campaign (2015), and a current member of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT).