The election of the former PDP general secretary to the party's top post is seen as at attempt to choose a leader who can help unite the political group's factions, the BBC said Sunday.
The Nigerian political party dominated last year's elections and gained significant control of the presidency, state governors and legislature.
Saturday's election also was seen as a political blow to former party head Olusegun Obasanjo, who had backed his ally, Sam Egwu, in the race for PDP chairman.
That political move was criticized by some within the dominant Nigerian party, the BBC said.
"As an elder statesman, he should be advising government in private," PDP National Executive Council official Ken Nnamani said of Obasanjo's decision. "He should not hold a partisan position."