Politics

Saraki, Suswam in Contention as PDP Sets to Hold Mini-Convention to Elect New Leaders

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) reportedly plans to hold a mini-convention between January and February to elect new leaders to vacant positions.

The positions up for contention are the position of the national chairman, national secretary, and National Woman Leader.

While the position of the national chairman is vacant haven been left by Dr Iyorchia Ayu, that of the national secretary is vacant due to a court order restraining Samuel Anyanwu from office. The office of the national women leader is also vacant due to the death of Prof. Stella Effah-Attoe.

Politics Nigeria gathered that Ayu, who was challenging his suspension, has been prevailed upon to withdraw his case from court.

Among those in contention to replace Ayu as party chairman are former Senate President Bukola Saraki and Senator Gabriel Suswam, a former Governor of Benue State. Both are from the North Central, where Ayu hails from.

The recent meeting between Senator Saraki and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, it has been gathered, was part of the move to position Saraki for the party’s top job.

Many party leaders and elders reportedly see Saraki as someone with what it takes to rally the party from its present predicament.

However, those working for Suswam insist that the party’s chairman must remain in Benue for the state to complete the tenure of Ayu, who is also from the state.

Meanwhile, Timothy Osadolor, a member of the NWC, who commented on the issues surrounding the National Secretary position, said it is a constitutional matter.

He said, “it is only when a man takes up an appointment or resumes another office by way of winning election that he automatically stops to function in the NWC. The constitution did not say if you want to contest election, you must resign.”

Osadolor, who is also the Deputy National Youth Leader, added, “Anyanwu did not take up any appointment, he did not win election, if he had won the election, it would be a different thing. The constitution did not say that you must resign if you are going to contest election. If they feel very strongly about their position, there are constitutional ways to go about it.”

According to him, “For those in the South East that are saying they have removed him, the position was zoned to the South East and micro-zoned to Imo State, but there is nowhere in the constitution that says a zonal caucus can remove a member of the NEC or NWC: it is alien to our constitution. They might not like Samuel Anyanwu, but the issue is a constitutional matter.”