WHY PDP SETTLED FOR NWODO, THE UNTOLD STORY
More facts have emerged on the odds that eventually worked in favour of the emergence of former Enugu State Governor, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, as national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Sunday Sun gathered that part of the reasons for his choice was his understanding of the party's political dynamics having been its national secretary.
Nwodo, who stepped into the position vacated by Prince Vincent Ogbulafor following the latter's resignation last month, was on Thursday finally confirmed by the National Executive Council (NEC's) 51st meeting after a protracted succession battle by a motley of aspirants.
But it was gathered that the quest for unity among party members ahead of the 2011 general election informed the choice of the former governor despite the behind-the-scene intrigues that trailed his emergence.
A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan and his close associates also did not want a greenhorn to be in charge of the Wadata Plaza in the next general election.
It was also learnt that several power brokers including former President Olusegun Obasanjo were initially opposed to his emergence but were constrained to yield to the will of majority of PDP members.
Corroborating this position, former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chinwoke Mbadinuju, said the party took time to confirm Ogbulafor's successor to ensure that the best candidate emerged to put the house in order before the next election. He said having been a national secretary of the party and one of its founding members, it was not surprising that Nwodo was chosen ahead of others who were interested in the seat. 'The PDP does not want to make mistakes again and that is why it decided to choose somebody that is acceptable to majority of party members, including those who are aggrieved.
'The seat of the national secretary of PDP has become a breeding ground for the national chairmanship. Prince Vincent Ogbulafor was a secretary before he became chairman just like Okwesilieze Nwodo. 'Despite the odds against him, among all those that jostled for the party, he was the most acceptable because obviously he is experienced in party administration and people see him as a gentle man,' he said.
Former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Chief Dubem Onyia, however believes Nwodo was chosen ahead of other aspirants because he appreciates the objectives behind the formation of the PDP by its founding fathers.
'He was there when the PDP was formed and he understands the reason for the founding of the party. He is seen as one who is coming with a lot of experience having been a national secretary of the party,' he said.
He said that Nwodo would be a uniting factor in the party, which in the recent past suffered a lot of exodus of its members because of lack of internal democracy.
'I listened to his acceptance speech and I believe that if he can do those things he promised, he would not only unite the party but also consolidate the nation's democracy. 'He was there when the party was formed and I support his appointment. I just pray that he will have the political will to do those things he promised.
'It is a good thing for the party and country because he has a lot of experience and knows the objective of the founding fathers. 'If he will be able to bring back all founding members of the party into the fold, people will have confidence in the party,' he said.