Full List of PDP National Chairmen in Nigeria (1998 – Date)

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is one of the oldest and major political parties in Nigeria. The party which is headed by a national chairman has produced presidents, governors and other public office holders over the years and has become a force to be reckoned with in modern times.

people democratic party pdp

For the record, the PDP produced all presidents in Nigeria for 16 years before the All Progressive Congress, APC won the 2015 general election which saw Goodluck Ebele Jonathan defeated by the APC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari. This was under the reign of PDP former national chairman, Adamu Mu’azu.

In this post we list all past and present PDP National Chairmen in Nigeria from its inception in 1998 till date.

Dr. Alex Ekwueme (1998)

Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme was the first chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and was also the first elected Vice-President of Nigeria. He is a founding member of the party.

Chief Solomon Lar (1998-1999)

Solomon Lar was a Nigerian politician and a founding member of the PDP. He occupied various public posts while he was alive and was even the former governor of Plateau state.

Chief Barnabas Gemade (1999-2001)

Barnabas Gemade hails from Benue state. He has held various positions and is a serving senator for Benue North East constituency under the PDP platform.

Chief Audu Ogbeh (2001-2005)

Although, Audu Ogbeh served as a minister of Agriculture under the Buhari APC led administration, he was among the founding members of the Peoples Democratic Party. He resigned as chairman of the PDP due to criticism from Obasanjo on how he handled the Anambra political crisis.

Col. Ahmadu Ali (2005-2008)

Ahmadu Ali served the Nigerian army and was the first Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). He was also the former minister of Education and headed the National Working Committee of the party.

Prince Vincent Ogbulafor (2008-2010)

Vincent Eze Ogbulafor was the National Secretary of the party before he was elected chairman. Due to financial recklessness, he was forced to resign.

Dr. Okwesileze Nwodo (2010)

A one time elected governor of Enugu state, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo is a Nigerian politician who had been the Secretary General of the PDP, before he headed the party as its chairman.

Dr. Haliru Mohammed (2010)

He acted as acting chairman and was former minister of communications during the Obasanjo/Atiku administration.

Alhaji Kawu Baraje (2011-2014)

He was also a founding member of the party.

Dr. Bamanga Tukur (2012-2014)

He is currently the president of the Africa Business Roundtable and served as a minister under the Sani Abacha’s regime. In 2012, he became the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

Adamu Mu’azu (2014-2015)

Mu’azu was the former governor of Bauchi state. It was during his tenure a PDP chairman that Buhari won the presidential elections. It was alleged that he worked for the opposition to achieve victory at the polls.

Senator Ali Modu Sheriff (2015-2016)

Although he is a member of APC, he once headed the PDP National Working Committee as its acting chairman. He was the former governor of Borno state and a former senator.

Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi (2015-2016)

He is a member of the party and served as caretaker chairman of the party. During his time, he and Ali Modu Sheriff were always at logger heads on who to occupy the party’s seat.

Uche Secondus (2017 – 2021)

The former chairperson of the party is Uche Secondus. Although, he was being suspended by a competent court, the party had carried out another election to replace him.

Iyorchia Ayu (2021 – 2023)

Iyorchia Ayu was the former PDP chairman who was suspended by the PDP for alleged anti-party activities during the just concluded general elections. He is a former Nigerian Senator who was a one time President of the Senate during Nigeria’s Third Republic (1992–1993). His tenure has been marred  by corruption allegations from southern governors of the party. Although, he oversaw the Presidential Primaries that saw the like of Atiku Abubakar emerge as the PDP presidential candidate, pressure is on him to resign.

Amb Umar Iliya Damagum (2023 – date)

Umar Damagum is the current PDP national chairman. He replaces Senator Iyioricha Ayu who was suspended by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Until his appointment, Iliya Damagum was the PDP national deputy chairman (north).

History of The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was established in March 1998 as a democratic party by members of numerous groups and organizations. The aim of the G-18 and G-34 members was to back economic deregulation whilst protecting human rights of the common man, providing the basic amenities like food, shelter, affordable housing, health care and education.

After the demise of the then military head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha, it was announced that Nigeria would hold democratic elections to end the 16 years of military rule in the country. It was in preparation that Alex Ekwueme, the first PDP national chairman and Jerry Gana, the first party secretary mobilized various groups, drawing membership from traditional rulers, intellectual minds and even businessmen and former military officers to join the cause which produced former military leader, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo as the democratic elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Also, the PDP won the elections for majority in the legislative house in 1999, making it a dominant political party in Nigeria. The victory at the polls continued and in 2003, Olusegun Obasanjo was re-elected to office while the party still maintained its majority in the legislative house.

The PDP had always maintained a zoning system when choosing a presidential candidate. Based on religious and tribal lines, power is always shifted from one zone to the other, maintaining the Christian and Islamic balance of either the president and his vice.

For example, the 2007 candidate was Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, a Muslim while his vice presidential candidate was Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian. Although Yar’Adua won the elections, it was adjudged to be one of the worst elections ever held in Nigeria by international observers because it was marred by irregularities, fraud and violence.

Jonathan was later sworn in as the president after the death of his principal, Yar’Adua. He contested the 2011 presidential elections under the People’s Democratic Party and won, even though it angered many members of the party who felt that the north hadn’t finished its tenure when Yar’Adua died. This time, international observers adjudged the 2011 general elections as free and fair because Goodluck Jonathan garnered much support from every geo-political zone in the country.

By 2015, the most of the founding members of the PDP had left either to join another party or even to start their own political venture. This made the PDP grow weak in support, coupled with the fact that Nigerians were in dire need for a change at the center. APC, which was the major opposition made history after wining the 2015 elections after 16 years of PDP ruling .

The party is now an opposition party hoping to win the 2023 election.


The slogan or motto of the Peoples Democratic Party is “Power to the people”


The party’s website is peoplesdemocraticparty.com.ng


Wadata Plaza, Michael Okpara Way, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja.

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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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