PDP chair­man­ship po­si­tion tears South-west apart

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS -

Some party chief­tains lob­bied the party to cede the chair­man­ship po­si­tion to the South-west Zone, but the party’s care­taker com­mit­tee, chaired by Se­na­tor Ahmed Makarfi, on Tues­day, zoned the po­si­tion to the South which com­prises the South-west, South-south and South-east geo-po­lit­i­cal zones.

Politi­cians push­ing for the po­si­tion to be zoned to the South-west ar­gue that the zone has never pro­duced PDP chair­man since the in­cep­tion of the party in 1998.

How­ever, in­fight­ing within the PDP in the South-west, Daily Trust learnt, might, again, rob the zone of the po­si­tion as the party is cur­rently fac­tion­alised in many states that make up the zone. The in­fight­ing, it was gath­ered, is stand­ing in the way of the zone to present a can­di­date who will fly its flag.

At least, six can­di­dates from the zone have in­di­cated their in­ter­est in be­com­ing the PDP chair­man. They in­clude a found­ing mem­ber and the for­mer deputy na­tional chair­man of the party, Chief Bode Ge­orge, a for­mer min­is­ter of sports and youth de­vel­op­ment, Prof. Tao­heed Ade­doja, a for­mer min­is­ter of ed­u­ca­tion, Prof. Tunde Adeni­ran, and a for­mer gover­nor of Ogun State, Mr Gbenga Daniel.

At the time of fil­ing this re­port, it was learnt that the South-west stake­hold­ers may have thrown the po­si­tion open for in­ter­ested as­pi­rants, fol­low­ing their in­abil­ity to agree on a con­sen­sus can­di­date. The im­pli­ca­tion of this de­vel­op­ment, ac­cord­ing to sources, is that a state in the South-west can pro­duce two or more as­pi­rants for dif­fer­ent po­si­tions. A party stake­holder, who spoke with our cor­re­spon­dent, yes­ter­day, said: “What is hap­pen­ing now is that the race has been thrown open. La­gos can buy forms for the po­si­tion of or­gan­is­ing sec­re­tary in ad­di­tion to the chair­man­ship which two peo­ple, in­clud­ing Se­na­tor Bode Ge­orge has shown in­ter­est. Or­di­nar­ily, we had ex­pected that there will be in­ter­nal zon­ing within the zone so that the six states (La­gos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ek­iti and Ondo) can be al­lo­cated po­si­tions.”

The po­si­tions zoned to the South in­clude that of na­tional chair­man, deputy na­tional chair­man 1, na­tional trea­surer, na­tional le­gal ad­viser, na­tional youth leader and na­tional or­gan­is­ing sec­re­tary. Of­fices of deputy na­tional public­ity sec­re­tary, deputy na­tional woman leader, deputy na­tional au­di­tor and deputy na­tional fi­nan­cial sec­re­tary, were also zoned to the South.

The re­sult of the wran­gling within the South-west was seen in the in­abil­ity of stake­hold­ers to reach an agree­ment dur­ing a meet­ing con­vened, last week, by the trio of gover­nor Ayo Fayose of Ek­iti State, Oluse­gun Mimiko of Ondo State and Se­na­tor Bu­ruji Kashamu, rep­re­sent­ing Ogun East Se­na­to­rial District. It was learnt that stake­hold­ers failed to agree on how to share del­e­gates’ among the war­ring fac­tions, es­pe­cially in La­gos, Oyo and Osun states.

A for­mer min­is­ter of works, Se­na­tor Ade­s­eye Ogun­lewe, who spoke with Daily Trust, yes­ter­day, said that com­pe­tence and con­tact would now de­ter­mine who wins the cov­eted po­si­tion in the zone.

“There is no ag­i­ta­tion any­more,” he said. “It is in­di­vid­ual com­pe­tence now that would de­ter­mine who will take it. If you are an as­pi­rant, go round the coun­try and present your­self be­cause you will not serve your zone alone. You will serve the party and any­body who wants to serve the party must be known through­out the na­tion. There is no re­stric­tion. Every­body will as­sess you. Who are you? What have you been do­ing? You have to visit all the states to cam­paign. It is as if you are com­pet­ing for pres­i­dency.”

Speak­ing, Mos­hood Sal­vador, the La­gos PDP chair­man, how­ever, said that there is no more divi­sion any­where in the zone. Sal­vador ex­pressed his op­ti­mism that the South-west would get the top­most po­si­tion.

He said: “South-west has never pro­duce chair­man of PDP since its in­cep­tion. So, that in­creases the chance of South-west hav­ing it. There is noth­ing bad in the zonal com­mit­tee do­ing their work and say­ing that they zone it to the South. It is now left to the zonal of­fi­cers to look into how to sub-zone to the ap­pro­pri­ate zone and state.”

Gover­nor Oluse­gun Mimiko of Ondo State Gover­nor Ayo Fayose of Ek­iti State

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