The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) meant to elect the new chairman ended in stalemate, but Professor Jerry Gana was announced as the chairman of a special committee to streamline members of the BoT.
The meeting chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan commenced at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa last night at 8.30 p.m. ended at 11.30 p.m.
Briefing newsmen at the end of further consultation after the meeting has ended at 12.10 a.m., Nigeria's High Commissioner to Canada, Ojo Maduekewe, alongside the BoT Secretary, Senator, Awalid Jibril and Prof. Gana, said as a party, PDP is wholly committed at all times to free and fair elections. It believes it must continue to be a model in internal democracy.
Maduekewe said at the BoT meeting, a special committee was set up to properly align membership of the BoT, in order to ensure credibility of the outcome of the election.
"Prof. Jerry Gana is the Chairman. Other members are Dr. Shettima Mustapha, Sen. Hope Uzodima, Sen. Stella Omu, Katsina Governor, Ibrahim Shema and Bode George".
The committee has three weeks to submit its report.
Maduekewe said by unanimous decision it was agreed that the secretary of the BoT should continue in office.
On reported dispute among the National Working Committee, Maduekewe said there are no major cracks in the PDP family.
He said as a huge party, there is multiplicity of interests and any comments by a member of the NWC is personal and issues raised were being resolved by the party leadership.
"We reaffirm the unity and solidarity of national leadership of the party. We are on top of any situation either at national or state leadership of our party.
"The party is committed to support Mr. President on the implementation of the transformation agenda".
On insinuations that the PDP governors were ganging up to remove the party's national chairman, Bamanga Tukur, Gana said nothing was further from the truth.
"The governors are not moving against the PDP national chairman and so there is no truth in the report. The issue of Adamawa State has received attention, and a team of eminent elders which includes the Vice President Namadi Sambo and the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, have been raised to resolved the issue. There is nothing to that effect to remove the party's chairman".
"We reaffirm the unity and solidarity of national leadership of the party. We are on top of any situation either at national or state leadership of our party."
Asked to name the authentic contestants, he said "all distinguished statesmen that have indicated interest to contest are eminently qualified. The meeting did not discuss name but just procedure.
"There is no deadlock, but when you are in a party like PDP that has been in power since 1999 without any serious opposition, you have to reinvent yourself to remain in contention.
"The constitution is clear on those who are permanent members, because once you have held positions both in government and the party, it makes you a permanent member. The election takes place once every five years.
"There was no election tonight and no candidate was endorsed".
The 12 visible contenders of the coveted position are Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Dr. Ken Nnamani, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo.
Others are Dr. Amadu Ali, Chief Tony Aneni, Chief Emmanuel Iwuayanwu, Chief Don Etibet, Senator Bode Olayinka, Chief Yekeen Adeojo, Senator Onyeabor Obi, Chief Harry Akande and Chief Shuaibu Oyedo.
Prior to Tuesday night's meeting 20 candidates had indicated interest for the BOT chairmanship, but eight were dropped for being non-members of the elite conclave.
The former chairman of the party Ali had been canvassing for support from other members, pleading with them to step down for him to become the chairman of the board.
A crony of President Obasanjo, Ali sent many short messages service (sms) to co-aspirants.
“Good morning. As Africa’s largest political party, BoT chairman should be a man with known passion for total nationalism, a strategist whose legacies transcend mere politics, a craftsman, a committed Nigerian whose services for a long time have been genuinely consistent in line with the desires of our national aspiration. Ahmadu Ali is tested through the crucibles of our nation - Goddy Emeka Ejiofor - an author,” one of such text messages read.
The BoT is the highest advisory body and custodian of the party charged with the responsibility of ensuring the highest standard of morality and discipline among party members.
Its membership comprises serving and past presidents and vice presidents, who are still members of the party. It also consists of serving and Past National Chairmen of the party, National Secretaries, all past and serving Senate Presidents and Speakers of the House of Representatives who are still members of the party.
Those who attended the meeting were Vice President Namadi Sambo; Senate President, Mr. David Mark; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal; former Vice President Alex Ekwueme and chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
Others were Governor Ibrahim Shema, Governor Sule Lamido, Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Senator Danjuma Goje, Alhaji Abdulkadir Kure, General Muhammadu Magoro (rtd), Professor Jerry Gana, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Chief Francis Arthur Nzeribe, Hajiya Inna Ciroma, Senator Adolphus Wabara, Mrs. Joy Emordi, Senator Andy Uba and Chief Ojo Maduekwe.
Also at the meeting were Alhaji Bello Haliru Mohammed, Senator Barnabas Gemade, Senator Ken Nnamani, Senator Amadu Ali, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, Mr. Vincent Ogbulafor, Governor Ibrahim Shema, Mr. Tony Anenih, Mrs. Patricia Etteh, Chief Josephine Anenih, Ambassador Hassan Adamu (Wakilin Adamawa).
Others included Chief Jim Nwobodo, Mr. Obong Victor Attah, Richard Akinjide, Chief Olabode George, Chief Emmanuel Nwanyanwu, Senator Walid Jibrin, Alhaji Musa Babayo, Dr Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, Mrs Kema Chikwe, Chief Bode Olajumoke, General David Jemibewon (rtd), Chief Don Etiebet and Chief Ebenezer Babatope.