South-West PDP Leaders concede Chairmanship slot to North
South-West PDP Leaders concede Chairmanship slot to North
The hope of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-West to produce the next National Chairman of the party in the forthcoming Convention slated for May 21, may have finally be put on hold.
This was as a result of a meeting held in Akure, the Ondo State capital by some factional leaders of the party, which include Governor Olusegun Mimiko, Chief Bode George, Ebenezer Babatope among others.
They bowed to the agitation of another faction of the party led by Governor Ayodele Fayose and Senator Buruji Kashamu that a northerner must become the next national chairman of the party.
Sources within the party said Fayose, whose appearance at the Akure PDP leaders’ meeting came as a surprise, may have decided to shun the meeting he organized in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State just because the leaders in Akure meeting had agreed to drop the idea that the South-West should produce the next chairman.
Though the party had already conceded the slot of the national chairman to the North-East, some leaders of the party in the South-West rejected the zoning formula, asking the party to zone the chairman to their region.
They based their argument on the ground that since the party will be picking its presidential candidate from the north, the South-West, which has never produced a national chairman before, should be allowed to rule the party.
However, Kashamu’s camp got an edge due to the fact that the leaders, refused to mention in their communiqué issued shortly after the meeting, that the zoning working committee should revisit its arrangements and zone the National Chairman to the South-West.
In the communique, signed by 28 leaders of the party including Mimiko, Fayose, George, Doyin Okupe and others, the leaders only spoke more on the challenges facing the Yoruba races.
On the party level, they only mentioned that they would set up committee to equitably distribute the offices zoned to the South-West among the states.
Those offices mentioned in the communique include National Secretary, National Publicity Secretary, National Auditor and Zonal Executive Committee.
The communique which was read by the former Minister of Sports, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, said “That the time is ripe for all members of the PDP in the Southwest to forge a common front and pursue a common agenda towards occupying their destined leadership position in Nigeria.
“That despite the challenges confronting the PDP, the Southwest caucus has agreed to unite and confront the challenges that are facing the Yoruba race in Nigeria.
“That members of the PDP has agreed to rise up beyond personal interests to confront crucial national issues that affect us as a race especially the thriving menace of the Fulani herdsmen.
“That the meeting notes with dismay the poor state of the national economy and feel terribly sad that the current ruling party has not demonstrated the capacity to contain the economic challenges with attendant dwindling fortunes that has reversed almost all the economic gains recorded under the PDP.
“That developments in the sphere of elections is becoming disturbing and from all indications, the accomplishments recorded by the last PDP Government as regards the conduct of credible elections, are beginning to wane. The Southwest PDP wish to put on record our dissatisfaction with the performance of the electoral body under the ruling party as all the elections the APC has so far superintended have ended as inconclusive!
“That the PDP will not shy away from effectively playing the role of an opposition. This role is crucial to democratic survival and the Party shall continually make Nigerians look up to it as a credible alternative to the ruling party.
“That we commend the on-going conscious efforts of the Party in ensuring genuine reconciliation of aggrieved party leaders and members towards ensuring that we become stronger.
“That the party will continue to encourage the collaboration of the old and the younger generation while it will do everything possible to allow fresh minds and fresh ideas to thrive.
“That this meeting noted the Party Posts zoned to the Southwest viz: National Secretary, National Publicity Secretary, National Auditor and Zonal Executive Committee. To this end, a structured Committee was set up to equitably distribute the positions amongst the six member states.
“That we welcome Governor Adewolu Rashidi Ladoja back to the fold of our Party as evidenced by his representatives at this meeting.
“That we resolve therefore to fully back and work for the re-invigoration of the PDP.
“We the undersigned, on behalf of all PDP leaders of the South West fully subscribe to the above resolutions and recommendations today 4h May, 2016”.
In his earlier welcome address, Mimiko warned PDP leaders not to use their ambitions to destroy the party in the south west.
The governor, who also called for unity among Yoruba leaders urged his party leaders to be more concerned about the challenges facing the people in the region than fighting over party political posts.
His words, “There are issues that are bigger than politics. The rate of attacks by herdsmen in this region call for concern and our people are watching the position that we will take whether our interest is in who becomes zonal publicity secretary or secretary in our party or we will unite to confront the monster in the Yoruba nation.
“Our people are enlightened; whether you like it or not they are watching. They are taking notes and at the appropriate time they will pronounce judgement on us
“If we don’t show enough concern about the issue concerning the people now, there is no way people will have confidence in us through their vote as 2019 is around the corner.
“Incidentally whether we like it or not, PDP is the alternative party in the country. If we mess it up, another party will come up. There is no doubt about it, Nigerians are waiting. If we mess it up, a new party will emerge and become the darling of this country because this country is waiting”.
PDP leaders in the meeting include, “Iyiola Omisore, Ondo Deputy Governor, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo Sen. Adesewe Ogunlewe, Chief Mrs. Jumoke Akinjide, Hon, Mulikat Akande, Alhaji Jelili Adesiyan, Chief Segun Adegoke, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Engr, Jide Adeniji, Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo, Dr. Saka Balogun, Engr, Clement Faboyede, Elder Joju Dadairo andAkogun Bisi Jinadu.
Others were Engr Bashi Awotorebo, Senator Adeseun Ayoade, Bar. Ojo Williams, Bar. Niyi Owolade Chief Folorunso Akintade, Bar. Gboyega Oguntuwase, Chief Bola Olu-Ojo, Eddy Olafeso, Tunji Shelle, Segun Sowore, and senator Remi Okunrinboye.