Twenty persons have signified their intention to become the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The Secretary of the Board, Senator Walid Jibril, stated this in an interview with journalists at the National Headquarters of the party in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, 98 persons, who are members of the Board, will decide who becomes the next BoT chairman.
Jibril, who refused to disclose the names of the applicants, said doing so would be wrong as he had yet to intimate the members of the Board who asked the applicants to signify their intention through his office.
The BoT position became vacant last April following the resignation of former President Olusegun Obasanjo from the office.
Investigations by our correspondent indicated that among those who had applied for the position are a former Minister of Works, Chief Tony Anenih; a former National Chairman of the party, Senator Ahmadu Ali; and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.
In the race also are the former President of the Senate, Ken Nnamani and a former National Deputy Chairman of the party (South), Chief Shuaib Oyedokun.
Jibril said the board would meet on January 8, to decide who becomes its next chairman.
He said, “Let me clear all rumours, especially as it relates to those aspiring to lead the Board of Trustees of our party.
“It is true that we said that all members of the Board who are interested in the office of the Chairman of the Board should apply by writing a letter of intent to my office.
“It is also true that some people wrote. They (those who wrote) include those who are not even members of the BoT.
“But it will be wrong for me to publish the names of those who applied without getting back to the people who asked me to do so.
“I want to get back to those who sent me on this job first. There are 98 members of the Board who will vote on January 8, 2013.”
Asked whether there would be a screening committee to look at the credentials of those who applied, Jibril said only the Board could decide that.
He added that the party’s constitution “stipulates that its chairman and secretary are to be elected from its members”, which indicated that non-members might be screened out.
He also said those who were not members of the Board might not be allowed to be part of the meeting where the voting exercise will be carried out.
The former senator however said the Board would take into consideration the principle of Federal Character while electing its chairman.
He denied that there were pressures to vote for a particular candidate, adding that the Board was not thinking of a consensus candidate.
He said this could only happen if all the candidates agree to produce one.