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Prof. Adeniran And Pdp’s Chairmanship Race

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Professor Tunde Adeniran, a former Minister of education and one-time Nigerian Ambassador to Germany is one of the contenders for the national chairmanship position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The election of new national officers for the PDP is expected to take place at the party's National Convention holding on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 in Port-Harcourt, barring any last minute change.

Supporters of Adeniran, a political scientist and product of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and Columbia University in the United States of America, USA, see him as the most qualified among those seeking to occupy the highly exalted seat of the PDP.  Associates of the Ekiti-born Professor believe that he has all what it takes to be in the helms of affairs of the PDP, considering his level of education, exposure, experience in politics and governmental matters.

For instance, in throwing their weight behind the educationist turned politician, a group of political leaders in Ekiti State, under the auspices of Ekiti Integrity Forum (KIF), maintained that of all the competitors for the chairmanship seat, Adeniran stands out as a man of integrity and is much more positioned to restructure, reorganize and reform the PDP for greatness.

According to Otunba Dayo Olanrewaju, the spokesperson of the group, “Without mincing words, if you check the records, Prof. Adeniran stands tall among the contestants every each way. Undoubtedly at this crucial stage of the party and nationhood, PDP needs a personality of his calibre to steer the ship of the party. It is incontrovertible that he has no criminal record or ugly history whatsoever. If we want PDP to once again appeal to the majority of the electorate, we need to choose wisely, we need the right person to lead us, and that person is no other than Prof Tunde Adeniran.”

Continuing, Otunba Olanrewaju said, “It is on the premise of his enviable personality and outstanding qualities that Ekiti Integrity Forum, a group of Ekiti political stakeholders who have distinguished themselves in their various professional callings and of good character in the society, has resolved to support a thoroughbred, responsible, honest and detribalized Nigerian as the next chairman of the PDP.”

Adeniran, while calling on the delegates for the PDP national convention not to allow anybody to deceive them as they elect the new national officials of the party, said: “This a unique opportunity, a very unique chance to elect their leaders, those who will serve them in the next few years; who will reposition the party; who will take away the burden of autocracy, of lack of internal party democracy. This is the time to get people who have compassion for the masses; who have commitment and loyalty to the party and who believe in the rule of law; who believe in due process; who believe that indeed this is a party that is great; this is a party that will achieve for Nigerians particularly, the coming generations, the type of legacy that will be self-sustaining and that will consolidate democracy within the party and consolidate democracy generally within the nation. It is an opportunity that they must not lose, because it means a lot. Every day counts. Time is against us for the transformation of our party and for meaningful democracy to take place, to characterize our party and to characterize the nation generally.”

He further stated that, “There is nothing that is required to run this party (PDP) that I do not have. Through the grace of God, I think I have solid background both in education and political experience. I have been involved in this game for decades, starting from my days as a student. I have been party to the formation of at least three major political parties in this country in different republics. And I have occupied certain positions of great responsibility. What is also important is that I understand thoroughly the internal workings of the system – governmental system and party system. And I have demonstrated it in the capacity that I have occupied working for the party or working for the government and the people. The capacity is there; the commitment is there and of course the factors that would make for success are within me with the grace of God.”

Adeniran, a founding member of the PDP, was chairman of the Electoral Panel for the party's 2011 National Convention; He was Minister of Education from June 1999 to January 2001; Nigerian Ambassador to Germany between May 2004 and January 2007, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) from 2009 to 2011, and Chairman and Director of the Directorate for Social Mobilisation (MAMSER) between 1987 and 1993.

He was a staff of the United Nations Organization in the mid-1970s and lectured in some USA-based Universities before taking up appointment at the University of Ibadan where he worked for twenty years and retired to join forces with other prominent Nigerians to found the PDP in 1998 preparatory to the entrenchment of democracy in 1999. The PDP chairmanship hopeful, who bagged the American Medal of Honour (bestowed upon Men and Women of Exceptional Distinction) in 2001 was Member of the University Senate for fifteen years; Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (1980-81); Sub-Dean (Post-graduate, Faculty of the Social Sciences), 1981-83 and Head of the Department of Political Science, May 1994 to April 1997.

A recipient of sundry honours and laurels for distinguishing himself as a great scholar, Adeniran, a consistent and loyal PDP chieftain was Member, Judicial Commission of Inquiry (Justice Ibidapo-Obe Panel) into the Ife/Modakeke Crisis, 1981; Member, Ondo State Local Government Review and Reorganization Committee (Justice Akintan Panel) 1982; Member, Ondo State Economic Advisory Council, 1980-1983 and Member, Advisory Committee on Foreign Affairs, 1983-1985.

Others in the PDP's national chairmanship race with Adeniran include,

Bode George, Jimi Agbaje and Raymond Dokpesi. Dokpesi rejected the

micro-zoning of the national chairmanship position to Southwest by the

southern caucus of the party, after the zoning committee had originally

zoned it to the entire South. Also, effort to have a consensus candidate

from the Southwest has proved abortive as the aspirants refused to agree

on that.
Hence, the national chairmanship contest remains open for the contenders

to slug it out in the field on August 17 in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers

State capital.
Written by Michael Jegede, a Media Expert.

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