The politics, intrigues and betrayals that characterised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 2021 elective National Convention at Eagle Square, Abuja have been described by some Nigerians as a sign of things to come in the 2023 general elections.
The convention has shown the direction which the governors of the party will likely toe during the 2022 convention of the party where its presidential candidate will be picked.
The former Governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola who had refused to step down for his major contender, Taofeek Arapaja for the position of Deputy National Chairman (South) despite appeals and interventions from PDP governors and other stakeholders, was defeated.
He had 705 votes, compared to the winner, who had 2,004.
Oyinlola was said to have been backed by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki while Arapaja was supported by the governors following a gang-up against Atiku and Saraki.
At the end of the convention, the former Senate President, Iyorcha Ayu was declared as the party's National Chairman after 3,426 delegates affirmed his unopposed position with eighteen (18) out of the 21 National Working Committee (NWC) offices.
Also, Senator Samuel Anyanwu from the South-East emerged winner as the National Secretary of the party unopposed.
Other officers elected through the party’s unopposed contests were Ahmed Yayari Mohammed, National Treasurer and Kamaldeen Adeyemi Ajibade, National Legal Adviser.
While Umar Bature is the new National Organising Secretary; Daniel Woyegikuro emerged as National Financial Secretary; Stella Effah-Attoe, National Woman Leader and Okechukwu Obiechina Daniel, National Auditor.
Meanwhile, Atiku's supporters were seen with posters with different inscriptions, saying, "2023 Atiku is the answer," "I stand with Atiku," " 2023 Support Atiku," among others.
Other politicians who turned the venue of the convention into a campaign ground include former Kano State Governor, Musa Rabiu Kwakwanso, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal as supporters their displayed banners pushing them for President.
Atiku, while speaking at the event, called on the PDP to ensure that it rescues the country from “mismanagement, bad governance, insecurity and disunity”.
He also said Nigeria has been badly run by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) since it took over power in 2015.
The former Vice President who said the “mission to rescue Nigeria is a collective thing,” added that the PDP must position itself to “rescue and restore the dignity, security and economic growth of Nigeria.”
This is as he asserted that the decision taken at the party’s national elective convention would determine the country’s future.
On his part, Tambuwal said it is not easy to keep a party like PDP united, adding that it is tough because "we are a big party that has members from across the country and with various interests and desires.
He said, "Diverse as we are, it is however clear to me that we are at our best when we remember that we must remain focused and disciplined for the sake of our country and the benefit of our fellow Nigerians across the world.
"In Nigeria, it is tough to remain an item, focused and disciplined when being an opposition party. The temptation and allure of power can be overwhelming. Some have fallen along the way."
In his appreciation speech, Ayu boasted that the PDP is back to rescue Nigeria from the terrible mess it has been in for the past six years, adding that the success of the convention can be described as a quit notice to the ruling APC.
He said, "Those who have lost hope should know that Nigeria is not a divided country. A small group of people decided to divide Nigeria. PDP will come back to unite our people, put them together, North and South, East and West.
"We will move ahead to develop this country. We did it before. We are going to do it again. I want to thank the governors. I want to thank the delegates. I want to thank our supporters and every single person who has made this event such a huge success.
"I believe the other party can never hold a convention because even state congress, they cannot hold. They have produced 92 state chairmen for 36 states, how can they hold a successful convention which the PDP has done? We are waiting for them. This is a challenge to them. Let them come and hold a successful convention which the PDP has done. This is a quit notice. PDP is back and is taking back the country to develop it."