INEC Acted Well by De-registering Parties – Akinrogun Tunde


A former governorship candidate and stalwart of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, Akinrogun Tunde Odanye, is a legal practitioner with over three decades of practice. Speaking with Omololu Ogunmade, Odanye dwells on Nigeria’s recent ranking by Transparency International, de-registration of political parties and the politics in Osun State amongst other issues. Excerpts:


…Recently, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) de-registered 28 political parties. Do you think this is a healthy development?
My honest opinion is that in any civilised clime, we do not need more than three political parties. You are either to the left, to the right or in the centre. Every other one is just an embellishment like more to the right, or more to the left, or extreme right, further right or extreme left or further left. So, for me, I believe that we either have capitalist/conservative inclined parties or socialist/welfarist parties or a mixture of both. This is what you find in Britain which runs a parliamentary system and the United States of America which runs a presidential system like ours.


It is now inside those groupings that you find the moderate democrats, the moderate conservatives, the hard core democrats, the hard core conservatives etc. To my mind, every other vista of left, right and centre would manifest itself within the party. You know that with 60 parties talking at the same time, people cannot even choose which one to listen to.


Then, instead of ballot paper, you have ballot booklets or ballot books. And of course you find that in the process, it is very possible that one or two names are omitted whereby after a very expensive election seriously contested by only two or three (3) parties, one or two obscure parties go to court that their names have been omitted just to shake down the winner for some hush money. …(read more)

S’Court Upholds Jonathan’s Elections

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by the National Democratic Party (NDP) seeking to nullify the election of PresidentGoodluck Jonathan.


In a unanimous decision, all the seven justices of the court who sat on the panel held that the appeal lacked merit.


NDP had asked the court to nullify all the elections held under the rescheduled time table issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).


Had the appellant succeeded, the entire 2011 elections would have been cancelled since they were conducted based on the second timetable released by the INEC after the first timetable was cancelled.


The appellant, NDP, had challenged the entire 2011 elections, saying that INEC had no power to cancel the first timetable without giving reasons for the cancellation as the NDP was the only party that complied and its candidates should be taken as validly nominated for the April 2011 general elections.
The case was earlier dismissed by the Court of Appeal, which described the case as a mere academic exercise.


Affirming the decision of the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court held that the NDP did not acquire any vested right since the so-called rights had collapsed with the cancellation of the first timetable by INEC.


According to the apex court, INEC has the sole responsibility for  fixing dates for elections.
It noted that if INEC fixed a date for elections and for whatever reason, no one has   cause of action against INEC for cancelling an election (not held) and rescheduling elections for another date.



Akpabio: Akwa Ibom is PDP’s Poster State

The Gubernatorial Interview [ThisdayLive]


Shortly after the just-concluded People Democratic Party retreat in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital, Governor Godswill Akpabio who turned 50 years recently presented what appeared his score card to journalists. Chuks Okocha presents excerpts of the session:

Given your success record, are you not worried about sustainability?
From a physical point of view, what I did was to submit a bill to the House of Assembly, setting up Akwa Ibom State Infrastructure Maintenance Agency.  That bill has been passed and signed into law. So, we now have an agency that will maintain the existing infrastructure in the state.

We also brought in equipment worth about N6 billion which is like full compliments of construction equipment including asphalt plant used in construction companies and allied agencies. We also hope to employ a good number of our youths, train them and ensure that the equipment are properly deployed and maintained.

From the point of view of sustainability, I think that is spiritual because this thing comes from God.  It was God that brought me in as Governor.  So, what we did in 2007 was to pray that God’s will be done. In 2011 we said, let God’s will be done again.  So, to actually sustain what we have done- the tempo of development- and be able to sustain it, for the good people of Akwa Ibom, I believe that should come from God and we shall continue to say, let God’s will continue to be over Akwa Ibom and the entire country.

I believe that comes from God and I always put a joke that if you take a pig to Buckingham Palace, he will turn the place to a desert, nobody will go there again. But, if you take a wise man into a desert, he will turn the desert into Buckingham Palace and everybody will go there to visit.

So, I think the aspect of succession is very important and that is why we want to handover that to God so that we will have somebody who will have the same zeal, the same passion, the same dedication to develop the state.  I think it is a bit spiritual and I think God’s will, will be done when the right time comes.

Does it not bother you as a governor that the PDP governments are widely criticized across the country for non-performance, despite your supposed peer review?
The reality is that we discuss peer review mechanism as state governors as a whole not as PDP governors. This is because we believe that after election, we shouldn’t emphasize so much again on the party. Party issues should take the back seat and we should be emphasising on governance because the people voted us into offices to provide dividends of democracy.

When we put it into template, I believe strongly we should do so.  Quite fortunately for us as PDP governors, the biggest showcase for democracy dividends in the country is the PDP administration in Akwa Ibom. It is there for all to come and see.  If anybody is in doubt if PDP can deliver, come and see what we are doing here and also how the ordinary people feel about it in terms of current outlines in a robust sector.

The plans we are making in gas sector is second to none; the plan we have in the agricultural sector and the plan we have in the power sector.  I believe that Nigeria will be better for it.

I want you to know something, a member of the War College asked me: how come after 13 years, you don’t have enough roads, enough that and that? I explained to him that Rome was not built in a day. Democracy in America took over 200 years to get to the level it is today. 13 years is not enough to judge any government, but you see, because the decay by the military took over 30 years, PDP cannot embark on quick fix in just 13 years.

How do you mean, in specifics?
We have achieved accelerated development in Akwa Ibom and other parts of the country. We have decided to redouble our efforts in order to catch up with the comity of states in other parts of the world.  You know, the world has become a global village, the example that you see in many other states of the federation and even in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja is something to behold and that is what PDP government are doing in the states. These have proved that yes, PDP can sustain its governance in Nigeria and it can sustain the momentum.  Rather than say PDP is not performing, people are saying, PDP is over-performing.

People are even asking that with what is happening, where will they get all the money to pay for all these things they are doing?  I give you an example, will anybody tell you after delivering well over 300 urban roads that you are not performing?  Will anybody tell you after you have ensured that you can drive over 50 kilometers in your state without pothole that you are not performing?  Will anybody tell you that when you have doubled school buildings and tripled school enrollment and you have over 1.3 million children in basic education level that you are not performing?

Will anybody tell you after you have built well over 2,500 classroom blocks that you are not performing?  Will anybody tell you that with additional 1,700 villages that now have light that you are not performing?  I have raised electricity coverage in the state to 87 per cent and I am going to make sure that in 2014, every village in Akwa Ibom is connected to the national grid- there will be none left- 100 per cent coverage.

We have finished a gas processing plant in partnership with Sectar Energy from UK and we are going to be supplying gas. The gas is from our own soil and the reservoir is in Akwa Ibom. It is what we are domesticating for our use.  As I speak with you, we have finished the first phase of the International Airport and building the maintenance, repair and overhaul facility that will repair aircrafts for Nigeria.

There is none yet in Africa and that is why we have a lot of air crashes. So, we are looking forward to it.  We are even doing the main terminal building and a second runway. As I am talking to you now, we have built the first e-library in the whole of Africa- a five-storey site- a knowledge-based center where you can access no less than 70 million e-books and e-journals across the world.

We have also done free medical treatment.  We have eliminated polio in my state.  We have not had a single incident of polio in four years.  Since I became governor, that is the first thing we have pursued. We have ensured total vaccination of children; free medical treatment for children from ages one to five and free education and medication to all pregnant women and children. It is open to all Nigerians who are resident in Akwa Ibom and not just Akwa Ibom people alone. We have to be our brothers’ keepers.  With such a thing, will you say Akwa Ibom is not performing?

The infrastructure you have seen is second to none- brand new Government House and Governor’s Office and Banquet Hall done by the PDP.  We are doing Tropicana Center; the shopping mall is there, a multi-storey building. We have done the fifth floor for the five star hotel to be managed by Hilton International. We are doing an International Conference Center with ECOWAS Hall for the President to move ECOWAS and AU meetings to Uyo and we have a mini Disney for children. We are also doing a Specialist Hospital somewhere in Itam.

We are not only doing state projects; we are also doing federal roads.  We have done up to 1,000 kilometers of roads with completed four flyovers of international standard. How can you say such a government is not performing?  PDP is a showcase for Nigeria.  That is the simple truth. You can use the achievements of PDP to challenge any administration in the country. There is no way you highlight these things and people will not hail PDP government. My feeling is that in 2015, we might end up having 36 over 36.  PDP might end up winning all the states because of their performance at the states.  It is superlative!

INEC to de-register more Political Parties

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, Tuesday said that the commission would deregister more political parties before the 2015 general election, just as he said that the curtain had not closed on the registration of new political parties that meet the requirements for registration.

INEC had two weeks ago deregistered 28 political parties for sundry reasons, which included but was not limited to not winning a single councillorship election.

Jega, who disclosed this in Abuja while fielding questions from journalists shortly after the presentation of the commission’s five-year strategic plan (2012-2016) at its validation conference with stakeholders, said that INEC would also register new political parties that meet the constitutional requirements within the period.

In justifying the deregistration of the 28 parties, Jega said: “We have taken the decision to deregister 28 parties and as far as we are concerned, we have acted legally.

(read more)


INEC to de-register more Political Parties

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, Tuesday said that the commission would deregister more political parties before the 2015 general election, just as he said that the curtain had not closed on the registration of new political parties that meet the requirements for registration.

INEC had two weeks ago deregistered 28 political parties for sundry reasons, which included but was not limited to not winning a single councillorship election.

Jega, who disclosed this in Abuja while fielding questions from journalists shortly after the presentation of the commission’s five-year strategic plan (2012-2016) at its validation conference with stakeholders, said that INEC would also register new political parties that meet the constitutional requirements within the period.

In justifying the deregistration of the 28 parties, Jega said: “We have taken the decision to deregister 28 parties and as far as we are concerned, we have acted legally.

(read more)


Seven Vie to be Yero’s Deputy

The jockeying for who will be the deputy governor of Kaduna State in the aftermath of the change of guard in the state occasioned by the death of the former governor, Mr. Patrick Yakowa, has started.

Yakowa died on Saturday in a naval helicopter crash in Nembe creeks, Bayelsa State, along with former National Security Adviser (NSA), General Andrew Owoye Azazi (rtd), and four others.

It was revealed yesterday that no fewer than seven persons have started jostling to succeed Yakowa’s deputy, Alhaji Ramalan Yero, who was sworn in on Sunday as the 19th governor of the state since its creation in 1967.

It is expected that the new deputy governor will come from Southern Kaduna, where Yakowa hailed from, to achieve a balance in the delicate ethno-religious divide in the state.

It was also learnt that Yakowa’s death and the subsequent emergence of Yero as governor might have altered the widely held view that Kaduna Central would produce the next governor of the state after Yakowa.

Of the seven names being bandied as eyeing the deputy governor’s slot, four are from the old brigade, while three belong to new generation politicians in the state.

The old breed politicians being propped up for the job include the chairman of the state chapter of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga.  Bajoga is in his late 50s and was the nation’s ambassador to Poland. …(read more)

PDP Sweeps Benue Council Polls

Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) has released the entire results of last Saturday’s local government elections in the state with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wining all the 23 chairmanship positions.

Announcing the results yesterday, Chairman of BSIEC, Prof. Philip Ahire, disclosed that the result of the councillorship election would be released soon.

He stated that that the polls were the freest and fairest, despite minor hiccups, which were experienced during the polls.

In a related development, Governor Gabreil Suswam, while swearing in the newly elected chairmen in Makurdi, urged those who were aggrieved by the outcome of the process, to seek redress at the Local Government Election Petitions Tribunals in the state…(read more)

Supreme Court sacks Imo Rep

The supreme court yesterday sacked Hon. Chudi uwazurike as member representing okigwe south federal constituency of Imo state.

The seven member panel chaired by Justice Walter Onnoghen upheld the decision of the lower courts which upheld Hon. Austine Nwachukwu

as the validly nominated candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).Dismissing his appeal for lacking in merit, the apex court said the application was frivolous and could not be entertained.

Counsel to Nwaxhukwu, Mr. Kelvin Nwufo, said justice has been finally served by the court when it affirmed the judgment of the lower courts which upheld the nomination of Hon. Austine Nwachukwu as the valid candidate nominated through the primary election but was wrongfully substituted by the PDP. …(read more)

Bayelsa council poll: PDP screening committee clear 36 aspirants

The Screening committee of the Peoples Democratic Party in Bayelsa State has announced the provisional clearance of thirty-six aspirants out of the 94 that indicated interest in the party ticket in the eight local government councils for the forthcoming local council polls.

Among those not cleared by the Chief Claudius Iniegeson Committee was the incumbent Chairman of the Ogbia local government council.

The report of the screening committee was yesterday handed over to the state party chairman, Col. Sam Inokoba (rtd) at the party secretariat.

While handing over the report to the state chairman of the party, Chief Claudius Inegeson said the provisions of the party rules, electoral law and the constitution were adhered to during the screening process. …(read more)

Benue poll: ACN candidate won’t go to tribunal

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate for Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue state, Dickson Akoh, has said neither him nor his party would seek any justice on the newly constituted Election Petition Tribunal on the November 24 council poll.


Addressing reporters in Makurdi, the state capital, Akoh said the decision to boycott the tribunal was borne out of the fact that the election defied constitutional order that should have certified its credibility.


According to him, all those drafted to the tribunal, especially the one sitting in Otukpo, are allies of the present administration in the state.


The politician alleged that the tribunal members would expectedly do the biddings of their benefactor.


Akoh said appearing before the tribunal would mean that his party had accepted that an election took place.


He said: “We will not give credibility to the November 24 election. Therefore, we will not go to the tribunal. Doing so would amount to us giving credibility to the election which, in our submission, did not even hold because the electorate was disenfranchised.” …(read more)

ACN, ANPP, CPC to form new party in 2013

Three  major opposition political parties   -  Action Congress of Nigeria, Congress for Progressive Change and the All Nigeria Peoples Party  – may drop their identities by April 2013, when talks  on  their proposed merger are expected to be completed.


The merger of the parties  is  one of the strategies being canvassed by some  politicians to defeat the ruling Peoples Democratic Party which has dominated power since the advent of the present democracy in 1999.


Analysts are of the opinion that any genuine and honest cooperation among opposition parties for the 2015 general elections could make the election tough for the PDP.


The  Chairman of the ANPP National Rebuilding and Interparty Contact Committee, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, told journalists in Abuja on Sunday, that the merger talks between the three ACN, CPC  and ANPP had reached the last stage.


Shekarau, a   former Governor of Kano State, added that the chieftains of the three  parties had decided to forget their individual ambitions to make the fusion a success.


He  said  that  the leaders had realised that an alliance between the three parties would not work and that it was better for them to merge.


The ANPP  chieftain  said, “Certainly, we are going to submit our party certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission after our merger. That is what a merger means. The Electoral Law is so clear on the procedure for a merger.


“If we decide to merge, the next thing is that we go back to our parties, call National Executive Committee meeting, and discuss with the members, in the presence of INEC officials. Then, you can call congress and that is all.”


He said that both the ANPP and the ACN were not new to mergers.


Shekarau said, “We have passed through this before when we were All Peoples Party and then Action Congress too, before it became ACN.


“The difference now is to pass a resolution and all this will be simultaneously done (by the three parties) and we will inform INEC about it. When that is done, INEC has no choice than to register your new identity.”


In the alternative, he said the parties might decide to adopt the name of one of the existing political parties while the remaining two would dissolve into the adopted one.


The other two options, according to him, are to “take a symbol, a flag and any other identity  from the parties so that every party will have a sense of belonging  or all of us will just forget our identity.”


Asked if the parties had learnt any lesson from their failed ambition to merge in 2011, Shekarau said ‘Yes’. But added that one of the reasons was that they started the process late.


He said, “We started late then. In fact, the negotiation  started  when all the political parties already had their presidential candidates and had finished their congresses.


“That was what made it difficult. Who among the candidates   would  you  have expected to step down?


“Arguments came for example, that I had won the presidential primary of the ANPP. Out of the 3,000 delegates, I had 2,500 votes or thereabout. Now, sitting down in a room with about 10 people and I say I’m stepping down for you, it is no longer my personal mandate.


“What do you do with the people who stood in the rain and sun, slept in the bus, on the roadside and overnight. And again, our party had already submitted names of persons to INEC and when you merge, it would be beyond national election.


“What do you do with other elections like governorship elections, where each political party had their candidates? …(read more)

PDP BoT Chairmanship: A Race for 2015

Culled from ThisdayLive:


In this report, Chuks Okocha reviews the issues that would shape the emergence of the next chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees The Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees chairmanship election scheduled for January 8 next year is significant for many reasons. The election of a new chairman to steer the affairs of the board will to a great extent determine how the presidential candidate of the party will emerge ahead of the 2015 general elections. Secondly, the emergence of a new chairman of the BoT will be a huge statement on PDP’s readiness to rebuild the negative image and perception of the party among Nigerians. The BoT is the custodian of the party and works to ensure the highest standard of morality and discipline among members.


It was due to the significance of the BoT leadership that the PDP stakeholders agreed to adopt a standard of election that would ensure that whoever emerges the chairman of the board would command the respect of members. The strategy is to do adequate consultation so as to arrive at a consensus before the election.


Presidency Factor
Many factors, including the image of the aspiring candidates, will shape the election and outcome of the election. President Goodluck Jonathan had appeared to be neutral on the question of who emerges the next BoT chairman. But events have seemed to prove that he may be rooting for one of the candidates for reasons of political expediency. How the new chairman of the board emerges will greatly shape the 2015 PDP presidential primary election. Analysts say Jonathan’s views on where the chairman should come from will count on the level of support for his second term bid from the zones.


South-east Demand for Equity
PDP members from the South-east believe the zone is not well represented in the party hierarchy. Under the current geopolitical arrangement, the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, is from the North-east; and the national secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, is from the South-west, the same zone that had the office of the chairman of BoT, before the holder, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, threw in the towel in April.


Vice President Namadi Sambo and the Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal are from the North-west, just as the national treasurer of PDP, Bala Kaoje. The Senate President, David Mark, is from North-central; Jonathan and the national deputy chairman of the party, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, are from the South-south zone.


South-east politicians insist that they have been consciously left out, despite the fact that persons from the zone occupy the offices of Deputy Senate President and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. To try to iron out the issues, South-east leaders in PDP had in their meeting of November 16 mandated the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, to arrange a meeting between them and the president. They want the BoT chairmanship to be zoned to the South-east. They want the president to support their bid.


Contrary to reports, the South-east leaders did not support any of the aspirants to the chairmanship of the BoT. According to the minutes of the South-east leaders on November 16, “No decision or resolution was taken as to who the zone should support for the position.”
PDP insiders from the South-east believe the president’s views on who becomes the next BoT chairman would be a test of his sense of balancing and equity.  One of the members of the board said, “It is not enough for the president to ask that the South-east throw their support for him to contest the 2015 presidential primary election. This is the time for him to ensure that there is equity and balancing within the various organs of the party. The South-east should not be left out of the leadership of the organs of the party.”
The member expressed delight at Obasanjo’s resignation, saying, “This is the time to right the wrongs done to the South-east in the sharing of offices within the party.”


The Candidates and the Odds
So far, over five aspirants have emerged for the post of chairman of PDP BoT. They are the former national chairman of the party, Dr. Ahmadu Ali from Kogi State in the North-central; former Senate President Ken Nnamani, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawnu, and Senator Onyeabo Obi, three of them from the South-east; former Minister of Works, Chief Anthony Anenih, who was chairman of the BoT, from Edo State in the South-south; and the former All Nigeria Peoples Party Board of Trustees chairman, Chief Harry Akande from Oyo State in the South-west.

Anenih: Known in political circles as “Mr. Fix it” for his extraordinary ability to influence electoral outcomes, Anenih was national chairman of the defunct Social Democratic Party. He rose to become the chairman of the BoT during the presidency of Obasanjo, who also empowered the former police officer and made his tenure tumultuous. It was during Anenih’s time as BoT chairman and Ali’s tenure as national chairman that the infamous “garrison politics” was popularised in PDP. It was a style of politics that greatly undermined internal democracy in the party.


The odds against Anenih are many. Many believe it is not by sheer coincidence that he was summoned by the House of Representatives almost 48 hours to the earlier scheduled date for the BoT election to explain his role in a suspected road contract fraud. Apparently, it was aimed at reducing his acceptability before the BoT members and the party generally. That was before the BoT election was shifted to January 8 next year.


To many political observers, PDP lost the Edo Sstate governorship election largely due to the power play in the state. That Action Congress of Nigeria won the governorship election meant a minus to Anenih’s influence in the state. He had wanted to use the election to improve on his political influence after some devastating outings in recent times. To many, the victory of Adams oshiomhole was a direct minus to Anenih.


It is believed that Anenih aims to use the chairmanship of the BoT to shore up his sagging political influence, but coming from the same zone as the president may be a minus for the Edo-born politician.
Besides the factor of his zone, there is also the internal wrangling in Anenih’s home state. The Chief of Staff to the President, Mike Oghiadomhe, is from Anenih’s state and in the political supremacy battle between the two men, the election of Anenih as BoT chairman will certainly give him an edge over the Chief of Staff. It is doubtful if Oghiadomhe would fold his arms and allow Anenih to have the added advantage of BoT chairmanship.


According to inside sources within the BoT, “The first tenure of Anenih as the BoT chairman was tumultuous and full of controversial decisions which did not go down well with members of the then board.”
But Anenih is widely believed to possess the kind of strong character needed to hold the party together.

Nnamani : He was Senate President between 2005 and 2007 and was instrumental to the death of the alleged third term ambition of Obasanjo. This role in the third debate greatly enhanced his image as a principle legislator that helped to improve internal democracy. His candidature could help to boost the cold relationship between the National Assembly and the Presidency.


As a former senate president, Nnamani has unrestricted access to the leadership of the National Assembly, and he could use his influence to improve the relationship between the president and the National Assembly.
Nnamani, who runs Ken Nnamani Leadership Centre, has a flourishing relationship with civil society that can be of great advantage to the party.


The former senate president is close to both the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute. Both agencies are known for their support for democracy in Nigeria. He led the NDI in 2007 to observe the presidential election in Sierra Leone, and he was a member of the Carter Foundation observer group to the election of late Professor Atta Mills of Ghana in 2008. Nnamani has also monitored elections in Tanzania and Botswana. His political and activist pedigree gives him some advantage over the other aspirants.
Besides, Nnamani commands respect among the members of the board.

Ali: A Second Republic senator, Ali is a medical doctor from Kogi State. He is the architect of notorious “garrison politics” of the Obasanjo era under which internal party democracy was seriously undermined. His headship of the BoT may hurt PDP’s image before the public.
But Ali has another challenge in the secretary to the BoT, Senator Walid Jubril. Both of them are from the same zone. Jubril is from Nasarawa State. The party may not likely allow both the secretary and chairman of its BoT to come from the same zone.

Akande: From Oyo State, South-west, Akande was the ANPP BoT chairman. He is yet to clock two years in PDP, having joined the party only last year after losing the battle to become the ANPP presidential candidate. At the moment, the major odd against him is that PDP is yet to give him a waiver to contest for any office in the party. Many feel it is nearly impossible for him to secure the waiver at this time.

Iwuanyanwu: Contrary to reports, Iwuanyanwu is not the adopted candidate of the South-east. But he is a candidate of note. The publisher of Champion Newspapers is a well-known politician in the South-east. He had contested the PDP national chairman position in 2008, but failed. If the BoT chairmanship is zoned to the South-east, Iwuanyanwu will have Nnamani to contend with.

Information available to THISDAY reveals that while Jonathan may not show open interest in who becomes the BoT chairman, he is not unmindful of the significance of the South-east’s support. Pundits believe that it would be difficult to secure the support of the South-east for the president’s future political ambition without zoning the BoT chairmanship to the area. Many in the zone feel that is the only way to ensure equity and balancing in the PDP at the moment.


Among Jonathan’s associates, Oghiadomhe may not support an Anenih chairmanship of BoT because that would be giving “Mr. Fix It”more powers and influence over him in Edo politics.


On his part, Chief Bode George is seriously rallying support for Anenih, who was ousted from office by Obasanjo in 2007. But George’s action is mainly to undermine Obasanjo’s attempt to have an upper hand in determining his successor.


But going by what happened penultimate Friday at the Banquet Hall of the State House, in Abuja, it is evident that the north would not be favourably disposed to Anenih’s chairmanship of the BoT. Some of them made it clear that they will not support him. In fact, with the mood in the hall that day, it seems election is what would settle the matter.


Though, it was agreed that any person interested in becoming the chairman of the board, should send his letter of intention, sources said that was aimed at reducing the names of those jostling for the post. In actual fact, the members of BoT would not like an election, because that may divide the board. Traditionally, they prefer the emergence of a chairman through consensus. So the period between now and January, observers say, would be used to try to persuade some members to step down their interests in the BoT chairmanship.

Odds Favour South-east
Some senior members of the BoT from the north are said to be more disposed to the South-east producing the next chairman of the board. A source lamented, “The president is from the South-south, the vice president is from the North-west, the national chairman of the PDP is from the North-east, the national secretary of PDP is from the South-west.
“Where is the South-east in all these? It is the belief of some of BoT members that the South-east should be given the chance to produce the next chairman of the BoT.”
On the position of  Obasanjo, who resigned as the chairman of BoT, the source said, “He will prefer anybody as a BoT chairman, but certainly not Anenih.” He said it was in connection with the BoT chairmanship that the former president was in the South-east recently.

BoT Membership
The BoT has influential members from the north, like Mallam Adamu Ciroma, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Ghali Na’Abba, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and by the composition of the board, the north has more members.
The board is made up of 102 members, comprising serving and past presidents and vice presidents who are still members of the party. Also in the board are all serving and past national chairmen of PDP, national secretaries, all past and serving senate presidents and speakers of the House of Representatives who are still members of the party, all founding fathers and mothers of the party, two women selected from each of the six geo-political zones, three members, at least one of who shall be a woman from each of the six geo-political zones, and members of the party not exceeding six who have contributed immensely to the growth of the party
The PDP constitution also says that the membership of the BoT shall reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the quorum shall be two-thirds of the membership.


As PDP moves towards the election of a new chairman for its BoT on January 8, there is no doubt that issues around the 2015 presidential election are what would dominate discussions.