There are strong indications that the forthcoming Peoples Democratic Party convention may be full of rancour and turbulence as a result of various interests struggling for control of the party structure.
The convention is the first major PDP event in a long time and it is expected to produce a new National Working Committee led by the party chairman.
The chairman of the party is expected to play two critical roles. Firstly, he is expected to ensure unity and stability in the PDP as the party begins to election flagbearers for different political offices. And secondly, the Chairman is will rally the PDP members to victory over the ruling All Progressives Congress in the 2023 presidential election.
However, as the day of the convention approaches, there is a big disagreement between two of PDP top Governors about who the next National NWC Chairman should be. In this article, I will discuss who the two Governors are and why they may clash at the convention.
The big prize that is up for grabs at the October Convention is the party structure. Whoever controls the party structure controls the party and can have significant influence over who emerges Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate at the convention. River State Governor Nyesom Wike and his Oyo State counterpart Seyi Makinde understand these dynamics so well that is why they are fighting to ensure that their candidate emerges the next NWC Chairman.
According to a Thisday Newspaper report, only a few months ago, the two politicians had endorsed former Osun State Governor Oyinlola to emerge the next PDP Chairman. They reckoned that his political depth and administrative experience will be needed by the party.
But both leaders have since abandoned Oyinlola and they are now rooting for a different candidate.
Wike has thrown his weight behind former National Deputy Chairman Dan Orbih, while Makinde is rallying support for former Ondo State Governorship aspirant Eyitayo Jegede.
This has set the stage for a big clash of egos and political interests between the two camps, which are desperate to take over control of the party structure ahead of the 2023 election. The politicians are expected to campaign for their candidates until the very last minutes.
Interestingly, the Oyo state Governor Makinde has a slight edge with Atiku Abubakar also on his side.
The former Vice President is said to have also declared his support for Jegede and will be working to ensure his victory at the convention.
But despite Makinde’s seeming upper hand, Wike is not expected to surrender easily. Analysts have said that he will fight to the end to ensure his candidate is the winner.
Interestingly, the general sentiment in the PDP camp does not appear to favour Wike because of how he allegedly held the party to ransom during the Uche Secondus tenure.
This is one of the reasons why the party has insisted that the next chairman should emerge from a state not controlled by PDP.