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PDP guber primary: Makinde, Fintiri get second term tickets

By Godwin Ijediogor, Monday Osayande (Asaba), Lawrence Njoku (Enugu), Kehinde Olatunji (Lagos), Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan), John Akubo (Abuja), Ann Godwin (Port Harcourt), Murtala Adewale (Kano), Rauf Oyewole (Bauchi), Charles Akpeji (Jalingo) and Gordi Udeajah (Umuahia)
26 May 2022   |   4:33 am
The race by the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to win 25 states, up from the 13 it currently controls, began yesterday across the country with its shadow governorship elections...

Deputy National Chairman (South), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Taofeek Arapaja (left); governorship aspirant, Oyo State PDP, Azeez Gbolarumi; South-West Chairman, Soji Adagunodo; Governor Seyi Makinde and candidate for 2023 gubernatorial election and Elder Wole Oyelese, during the governorship primary election at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan, Oyo State… yesterday.

• Jandor defeats Vaughan to pick Lagos PDP ticket • Former Commissioner, Mbah, ex-VC Ikonne emerge Enugu, Abia candidates
• Delta Speaker defeats Ibori’s canditate to emerge flag bearer • Embattled Rivers accountant general, Fubara wins ticket
• Confusion as Kano PDP holds parallel primaries • Presidential aspirant, Mohammed’s name appears on Bauchi guber ballot paper

The race by the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to win 25 states, up from the 13 it currently controls, began yesterday across the country with its shadow governorship elections to produce candidates to fly the party’s flag in the 31 states where gubernatorial polls will hold in 2023. 

Two of its three governors on their first tenure – Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and Ahmadu Fintri of Adamawa State – won tickets to run for a second term, while Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, is stepping up to run for the presidency.

Makinde, yesterday, emerged the standard-bearer, polling a total of 1,040 delegates votes to defeat his challenger, Hazeem Gbolarunmi, who had two votes.

The returning officer, Ben Obi, who was represented by Abdullahi MaiBasia, made the declaration. There were six void votes out of the total votes cast of 1,048.

In his acceptance speech, Makinde expressed gratitude to party leaders, members and delegates across the 33 local councils for believing in him and the leaders of the party in the state.

Reacting to Makinde’s victory, former Deputy Governor of the state, Azeez Gbolarunmi, said: “You will soon hear from me. Makinde contested against himself. All the real delegates of the party were not allowed to vote. I don’t need to talk too much.”

In Adamawa, chairman of the PDP governorship primary committee, Gavin Katabs, who made the announcement said, Governor Fintiri polled 663 of the 668 votes, with five of the votes declared invalidated.

Fintiri, a former Speaker of Adamawa State Assembly and his deputy, Serth Crowder, were sworn in for their first term on May 29, 2019, on the platform of the party.

In Lagos State, chairman of Lagos4Lagos, Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, yesterday, emerged as governorship candidate. Jandor polled 679 of the 709 accredited voters to defeat his main challenger, David Kolawole Vaughan, popularly known as Dakova, who polled 20 votes. Ten void votes were, however, recorded in the exercise.

Chairman of the election panel, Emmanuel Ogidi, declared Jandor as the party’s flag bearer ahead of the governorship election next year. 
 
Earlier, four aspirants contesting for the ticket had withdrawn from the race, leaving just Jandor and Dacova. The four aspirants who withdrew from the race are: Dr. Ade Dosunmu, Deji Doherty, Jimi Kamal and Rhodes Gbadebo.
   
Ogidi said: “We want to apologise for starting late and you know PDP is a family affair. We have been discussing with the critical stakeholders and we want to inform that four out of the six contenders in the race have voluntarily stepped down. They have dropped their letters and given reasons for stepping down.”
  
Adediran, who addressed the delegates, said the day was one that had long been awaited and the moment PDP had set aside for total emancipation of Lagos.
 
The aspirant, who noted that all those he met in the party and all the aspirants were qualified to be governor of Lagos, said “our aspiration is one, which is to put Lagos back on course.

 
“Our aspiration is one, which is to rescue Lagos. That is why we have decided to speak with one voice to put the party forward.”
 In his short speech, Dakova thanked the party’s election committee and party members as well as co-aspirants for their understanding.

FORMER Commissioner of Finance in Enugu State, Dr Peter Mbah, has emerged PDP’s governorship candidate. Mbah, who is the chief executive officer, Pinnacle Oil Company, polled 750 out of 765 votes cast by delegates to beat nine other aspirants.

Eight aspirants, including Abraham Nneji, Kingsley Ude, Erasmus Anike, Ugwu Nwabueze, Rev Ralph Nwoye, Prof. Jehu Nnaji, Beloved Dan Anike and GOC Ajah had announced their withdrawal from the race “to support Mbah”, moments before commencement of the exercise.

Chijioke Edeoga, immediate past Commissioner of Environment, scored nine votes; Chinyeaka Ohaa, three votes and Gilbert Chukwunta, one vote. One vote was declared invalid.

Former Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji, Ike Ekweremadu, Josef Onoh and Everitus Nnaji had yesterday morning declined to participate in the primary.

Chairman of the primary, Senator Ambonu Zik Sunday, said Mbah, a former Chief of Staff to ex-governor Chimaroke Nnamani, scored the highest number of votes cast by delegates in the election.

He commended the delegates for their peaceful conduct while the process lasted, stressing that Enugu remained a pace setter for the party in electoral conduct in the country.

Mbah promised to build on the achievements of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration and serve the people of Enugu with “humility and moderation, openness and inclusiveness, and simplicity and forthrightness.”

He also expressed profound gratitude to Ugwuanyi for enhancing the democratic process of his emergence, assuring the governor that “posterity indeed, will reserve a noble seat for you (Ugwuanyi) when the history of this state is written.” 

IN Abia State, the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of Abia State University, Prof. Uche Ikonne, has won the PDP primary in the state. Ikonne secured 468 to defeat his closest rival, Mayor Lucky Igbokwe, who polled 45 votes, while Mrs. Ezenwanyi Jonah got five votes.

Seven aspirants, including the deputy governor, Sir Ude Oko-Chukwu; Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe and Senator Emma Nwaka, had earlier withdrawn from the race, citing use of fake list and non-compliance with due process.

Despite pulling out of the race, Oko-Chukwu got six votes, Nana Nwafor scored four votes, while Nwaka also got four votes. Abaribe got five votes, Chief Ncheta Omerekpe got three votes, Prof. Gregory Ibe, who has since joined the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), got two votes, while Chief Sampson Orji scored five.

Eight votes were voided. The total number of votes cast was 544 votes while eight votes were voided. The returning officer of the primary election, Chief Ayo Fayose, declared Ikonne winner of the election.

In his acceptance speech, Ikonne promised to institute a participatory government if elected governor. The former VC urged all aggrieved members of the party to cooperate with him to win the election.

IN Delta State, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly and candidate of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Mr Sheriff Oborevwori, has emerged the PDP flag bearer, defeating 13 other aspirants in the keenly contested delegates election.

The primary was conducted amid tight security at Steven Keshi Stadium, Asaba. Chairman of the seven-man panel, Ndubisi Nwogo, announced that Oborevwori polled 590 votes out of 825 accredited delegates to beat his closest rival and anointed choice of former governor Chief James Ibori, David Edevbie, who scored 113 votes.

The third placed aspirant, Senator James Manager, polled 83 votes. The incumbent deputy governor, Otuaro Kingsley, scored nine votes while the former state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice scored nine votes.

THE Rivers State Accountant General, Fubara Siminialayi, emerged PDP governorship candidate. He scored a total of 721 votes to defeat his two closest rivals, Isaac Kamaku and George Kelly who came a distant second and third with 86 votes 37 votes respectively.

Siminialayi, who hails from Opobo, a riverine area in Opobo Local Council, was recently declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), along with three other top state government officials over alleged N117 billion fraud allegation.

The immediate past Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, came fourth with 36 votes. The election committee chairman, Prof. Walter Mboto, who declared Siminialayi as winner, announced that a total of 898 votes were cast and eight were voided. 

The Guardian gathered that the aspirants had contested for the party’s ticket after series of stakeholders meetings and consultations led by the governor, Nyesom Wike, failed to produce a consensus candidate.

Delegates from the 23 Local Councils, who arrived the Obi Wali International Conference Centre in Port Harcourt, venue of the primary, since 8a.m. completed accreditation around 2p.m.

Wike, who arrived the venue at about 4:39p.m. immediately called all party elders into one of the halls at the venue were they held a closed-door meeting that lasted for over an hour. The meeting ended after 6p.m. to clear the way for the business of the day.

Chairman of the electoral committee, Prof. Walter Mboto, assured that the process would be free and transparent. He said: “I will give two minutes for anyone (aspirant) who wants to step down. I assure you of a free and transparent process.”

Some of the aspirants, including the immediate past Secretary to the State Government, Tammy Danagogo, Senator George Sekibo, Senator Lee Maeba, Gabriel Pidomson and the immediate past state PDP chairman, Felix Obuah, among others failed to turn up at the primary despite undergoing screening.  

THE candidate endorsed by the former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Y. Danjuma (rtd), emerged governorship flag bearer for Taraba State. The candidate, Kefas Agbu, who is the incumbent PDP chairman in the state, was allegedly imposed on the party by the retired General. 
 
Agbu, who joined the race at the 11th hour after the sales of nomination forms had closed and screening of aspirants concluded, polled 443 votes to defeat his closest rival, who scored 31.

Announcing the results, chairman of the primary, Kabir Bappa Jauro, gave the number of the total vote cast as 522 and the number of vote cast as 517.

IN Jigawa State, Mustapha Sule Lamido, has won the governorship ticket. He polled 832 votes to defeat his opponent, Sale Shehu Hadejia who scored zero vote.

There were 915 delegates but 910 were accredited. Chairman of the electoral committee, Isa Ahmed, declared Lamido (jnr) winner having scored the highest votes. Mustapha is the son of the immediate past governor of the state, Sule Lamido.

CONFUSION beclouded the PDP primary in Kano as the party resorted to parallel primaries yesterday. The leadership tussle between Shehu Sagagi-led faction and that of former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, escalated yesterday as nine gubernatorial aspirants split their loyalties along the two splitter groups.

Aspirants already screened by the national body to participate in the primary included Muhammad Abacha, son of the former head of state, General Sani Abacha; Sadiq Wali, son of Ambassador Aminu Wali; former Chairman, Kano Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission, Muhuyi Magaji Rimin-Gado and former Ganduje’s Commissioner for Works, Muazu Magaji.

Others were Ibrahim Little, Yusuf Dambatta, Dr. Yunusa Dangoni, Yusuf Bello and Ja’afar Sani Bello. At the primary conducted under the leadership of Shehu Sagagi-led PDP at Luggard House, delegates cast their votes for two aspirants, Mohammad Abacha and Ja’afa Sani Bello.

The other seven aspirants who are loyal to Wali-led factional leadership joined other loyalists for the parallel primary held at Sani Abacha youth centre.

Although, the Federal High Court, sitting in Kano had vacated the restricting order, asking the Sagagi-led leadership to stop parading himself as PDP chairman in Kano, the Wali faction argued that as long as Sagagi remains the leader, PDP still remains under the control of former governor, Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

THERE was also confusion at the venue of the primary election for Bauchi State when the name and picture of Governor Bala Mohammed appeared on the ballot paper.

Mohammed, who is one of the party’s presidential aspirants, did not purchase the governorship form and was not screened. At the voting held at Zaranda Hotels, delegates were surprised to see the name of Mohammed on the ballot paper.

The ballot paper carried two names: Senator Mohammed Bala Abdulkadir and the former Secretary to the State Government, Ibrahim Kashim.

The result as announced by the chairman of the electoral panel, Hassan Ahmed, said total votes cast was 656 with a vote invalidated. He said Kashim polled all the 655 valid votes to emerge as the governorship candidate and “the only aspirant” who contested the primary.

Speaking after the election, chairman of PDP in the state, Hamza Koshe Akuyam, described the exercise as free and fair. But when asked about the inclusion of Governor Mohammed on the ballot, he said it was a mistake from the PDP headquarters in Abuja.

In his remarks, Kashim thanked the party and its supporters for electing him as the candidate, while urging them to be more united as the task ahead is more challenging.