By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor,
The election of a new national chairman of the party has been laced with many intrigues with Mr. Fred Agbaje and Dr. Raymond Dokpesi as the frontline candidates. The line up has inevitably bemused the political class given the fact that the two front-liners have easily put the much more political operator, Chief Olabode George into playing second fiddle.
Agbaje’s ascendancy has been promoted by the governors who are said to have enlisted him into the contest as a way of effecting a new break in the party. The governors it was gathered settled for Agbaje against the aspiration of George who remarkably, was a factor in Agabje joining the party less than two years ago.
Agbaje according to sources is also being heavily backed by the National Assembly caucus which like the governors want a clean break from the past and hence the decision to turn the back on George.
Another factor that may be working against George is that his election could fester another round of crisis in the party and instigate the vengeance of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Even though Obasanjo has publicly turned his back on the party some claim that promoting George to the party’s number one office could stir a sort of hurt on the former president that could embitter him to no one’s good.
For the governors, Agbaje is, however, not a done deal given the diminishing collective influence of the governors on account of the decreased number of PDP governors who currently number 12 out of 36, an unprecedented low since the advent of democratic rule.
It is upon that opening that the candidacy of Dokpesi has been built upon. Dokpesi is seeking to explore the fact that the governors may not have control over the non-PDP states. Dokpesi has during the campaigns sought to build special linkages with the North and draw from his maternal link to the north.