PDP Stakeholders Move To Zone Chairmanship Position To North

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Ahead of the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scheduled for October, there is a new twist in the leadership crisis rocking the party as some stakeholders are rooting for the next national chair­man to come from the Northern part of the country.

According to World Africa findings, those behind the plot are also calling for the presidential ticket to be thrown open for all aspirants instead of zoning it to any section of the country. ­

Prior to now, the gener­al belief was that another Southerner will replace Sec­ondus with names like Chief Olabode George, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Eyitayo Jegede and Liyel Imoke being mentioned as frontrunners.

World Africa gath­ered that major stakehold­ers, especially former min­isters and governors as well as some founding fathers of the party, are of the opinion that the party’s tradition in which all positions are rotat­ed between the North and the South should be followed.

A credible source in the party disclosed that at a meet­ing held two weeks ago at the instance of former Minister of Special Duties and Inter­governmental Affairs, Kab­iru Taminu Turaki (SAN), argument was canvassed for one of the founding fathers of the party to emerge as nation­al chairman.

According to him, names of former governors of Jiga­wa and Kaduna states, Alhaji Sule Lamido and Senator Ahmed Markafi, were men­tioned.

Others being considered are former Senate President David Mark and former gov­ernor of Gombe State, Ibra­him Hassan Dankwambo.

Speaking further, our source said that the normal tradition of the PDP is that at the end of four years, all Na­tional Working Committee (NWC) positions and depu­ties in the South will move to the North while those in the North will move to the South.

“That was the major ground for the opposition of the ambition of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to return as chairman in 2016, as the Prof. Jerry Gana-led group of emi­nent PDP stakeholders insist­ed that the decision to choose him (Sheriff) as chairman of the party was in gross viola­tion of established procedure for the selection.

“Remember that when the convention was to later hold in 2017, the normal thing was done, with positions in the North before the botched 2016 Port Harcourt convention moving to the South while those in the South moved to the North,” he said.

Giving insight as to which part of the country the party will zone its presidential tick­et, one of those who attended the Taminu Turaki meeting in Abuja disclosed that it was most likely that the presiden­tial ticket will be thrown open.

The PDP top shot said wherever the chairman comes from will not have any effect on the presidential ticket.

He added that “if for in­stance, the chairman comes from the North as it should nat­urally be, it will not stop anyone from the North from contesting for the presidential ticket.

“If you recall in 2007 when the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was President, Col. Ahmadu Ali was national chairman of the PDP while Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo was national chairman between May 2010 and January 2011 when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was president.

“The thinking is that it is only after winning the pres­idential election that we can in all honesty and fairness be­gin to talk about the president coming from either North or South. And in the event that someone from the North picks the ticket and emerged president, the chairman from the North, who will by then has two and half years left, can be made to resign while someone from the South takes his position.

“It has happened in the party on two occasions when both the president and chair­man were from the same zone.

“Most importantly, if the ticket is thrown open as we desired, someone from the South can as well pick it. So we should not disrupt things by jettisoning our tradition in 2021 because of presidential ticket for an election coming more than one year after.”

When contacted, a mem­ber of the party’s NEC said while he was aware of the plot, it will be difficult to do that since all the positions are zoned together.

He said the issue will be discussed at the next NEC meeting slated for Septem­ber 9.

“All the positions are zoned together. It will be strange to do that. I believe that the next NEC meeting on September 9 will deal with that issue”.

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