ssssBook makers and news reporters were proven wrong when a woman of quality and substance led the Election committee from the National Secretariat of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Abuja to conduct one of the best party congresses in recent times since the inception of democracy in 1999 as adduced by both proponents and opponents’ of candidates at the party congress. Amb. Dr. Aisha Audu Emeje (Leader-election committee & former Firt Lady of Kogi state) along with her team displayed leadership focus, commitment, steadfastness and control of electoral process, when on Saturday 20th of September 2014 Zamfara state PDP stakeholders came out in their hundredth for state Congress that was to pave way for the emergence of its new executive members who are going to man the affairs of the party and especially the litmus test of the forthcoming 2015 general elections.


All participants and observers at the just concluded Zamfara state PDP congress unanimously agreed that in recent times the electioneering process of delegates accreditation, voting procedures, orderliness of counting votes, management and control of election/electorates at the venue as well and the steadfastness of the Election committee’s Leader (Amb. Dr. Aisha Audu Emeje) and her team is commendable, credible, transparent, and unparallel in the history of state party congress across since the return of democracy to Nigeria since 1999.
One thing stands out during the congress and that is the strong leadership presence of the head of the election committee, her dexterity in administering electioneering logistics and her strong leadership presence is amazing. She stood her grounds maintaining that due process of transparency, free and fair elections has to hold in order to entrench strong internal democracy and institutionalizing the principles of democratic practice in the PDP and the country as a whole.
Though, only two seats were contested for by way of casting votes, the position of Women leader of the party was hotly contested between the two women political actors/gladiators of the party Hajiya Ai Maradun and Hajiya Kulu Mohd Anka.
In her pristinely inclined addressed, Dr Aisha conveyed the message of the National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu (the game-changer) of solidarity, togetherness, peace and unity, and commended the PDP family in Zamfara state for their steadfastness and commitment to the ideals of the party. While addressing delegates Dr. Aisha Audu reiterated that “development and democracy are central to the existence of every contemporary society and generally in all geo-political and demographic entities that constitute a community of people in the world and that politicking and electioneering are the two pillars on which democracy strives and that political parties are the platform upon which to lunch aspirants/candidates to positions of authority and responsibility”.Amb. Dr. Aish Audu therefore urged delegates and candidates to see the election as another brotherly activity to foster unity and a sense of togetherness by all PDP members across board. After declaring the formalities for the congress she announced that there are going to be three delegates per each ward who have been accredited raising their total number to 603 plus 73 Special delegates and urged every delegate to cast for the candidate of his choice by way of writing his name in the space provided for on the ballot paper.
Leader of congress & election committee Amb. Dr. Aisha Audu Emeje from the PDP National Secretariat later announced before the commencement of election proper that apart from the seats of the State Chairman and that of Woman leader; all other posts were returned unopposed.
As for the voting process, the election committee decided to conduct the election in an open secret balloting format and all delegates were assembled in order of their local government origin. The delegates were called in straight lines to collect their ballot papers and write the names of the candidates of their choice and the voting process lasted for closed to 3 Hours because of the rain that fell that evening while the election was still going on.


It was open, free, fair and credible, even those delegates that could not write were giving the chance to identify like-minds to write for them openly and there was no cases of ballot papers/boxes snatching and the INEC Supervisory team was fully on ground and remain at the venue till after the end of the counting and subsequent declaration.
In an interview with one of the INEC officials that supervised the election/congress who would not want his name mentioned summed up the event in these words “In my twelve (12) years of supervising party congresses/elections, this is the first time in a hotly contested posts of Chairman and Women Leader from the beginning of the election to declaration of winners that the organizers and managers of the election were in-charge and control of the event and that gave the process its credibility, transparency and unbiased neutrality of an umpire, I also commend the leader of the election committee, a woman who has proven book makers wrong and has affirmed the old saying that ‘what a man can do, a woman can do even better.”
Dr. Isma’il Gobir a political scientist and university don has just one sentence for Dr. Aisha Audu Emeje…he said “Dr. Aisha, you came, you saw and you conquered indeed you are another game-changer as the congress was free, fair, credible and acceptable by all”.
All the posts were returned unopposed except for the Chairman and Woman Leader upon which elections were conducted. As for that of the State Chairman of the party and state Woman Leader the following results were declared by Amb. Dr. Aisha Audu Emeje: For the post Chairman (1) Barrister Adamu Umar (132) Votes and (2) Senator Hassan Nasiha won with (382) Votes, while for the post of Woman leader (1) Hajiya Kulu Mohd Anka got (124) Votes and (2) Hajiya Ai Maradun won with (392) Votes.
Political heavyweights present at the congress/election were the Minister of State for Finance Amb. Bashir Yuguda Gusau who delivered President Goodluck Jonathan’s message to party faithfuls, the former Civilian Governor of Sokoto State Malam Yahaya Abdulkareem, former Governor of Zamfara state Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi, Alh Mohd Bello Matawalle (Chairman house committee on Intelligence & Security), Engr. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau (Chairman house committee on ICT), Mukhtar Ahmad Anka (former deputy governor), Bature Umar Sambo (former speaker ZSHA), Alh Ibrahim Mallaha (former PDP state chairman) and a host of other PDP State elders in attendance.
In the area security and orderliness, adequate security presence was seen and noticed as armed mobile and conventional police officers were seen in large numbers cordoning strategic areas along the party secretariat venue of the election while two Assistant Commissioners of police and a Chief Superintendent of police remain at the venue of the congress from beginning to the end.
Operatives of the State Security Service and that of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp were also deployed to help ensure law and order and with the tight security arrangement majority at the venue were optimistic that Zamfara PDP was out for business. The congress came to a peaceful end without any violence or disturbance and the words of Col. Abu Kaura (Rtd) “all is well that ends well”.

About Yusuf Yahaya

Y. Yahaya is a broadcaster (Nigerian Television Authority),and an Associate @ the Certified Institute of Development Studies (CIDS), Nigeria.He is also a freelance journalist (, Public Policy Analyst & National Resource Person MDGs Advocacy Project-Nigeria. Email:,

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