Executives of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southwest zone have disowned the party’s zonal caucus’ arrangement which zoned the National Chairman position to the Lagos and Ogun states axis.
The PDP national convention holds next week in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The positions of National Chairman and Assistant Publicity Secretary have been zoned to the Southwest.
The zonal caucus of the party at a meeting held in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Sunday, then decided to zone the Chairmanship to Lagos and Ogun States. The meeting was attended by the governors of Ondo and Ekiti states, Dr Olusegun Mimiko and Ayodele Fayose, respectively.
But rising from an extraordinary meeting at its zonal headquarters, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Tuesday, the zonal executives, led by its National Vice Chairman (Southwest), Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe, insisted that members from any of the six Southwest states of Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Lagos and Ogun can contest for the position.
The executives said their own decision superseded the decision of the caucus.
Ogundipe, in company of other executives, told journalists that: “What we have done here today is the legal, constitutional and right thing to do”
He explained further that the executives took the decision “to allow an aspirant with the best pedigree, mobilization ability and most importantly with good moral credentials to emerge as the National Chairman of the party. That person must have credibility and integrity. He must be able to unite this party and he must not be seen as a selfish chairman.”
The executive also disclosed that it has zoned the posts of National Treasurer to Oyo/Osun axis; Deputy National Publicity Secretary to Lagos/Ogun axis while the post of National Vice Chairman currently held by Ogundipe from Ondo/Ekiti axis would be retained.
Ogundipe pointed out that his post as National Vice Chairman (Southwest) had been settled and that he would be in office till 2018. He said he was thus constitutionally empowered to convene zonal meetings.
He also said that the executive had been doing everything possible to reconcile all the leaders of the party in the Southwest Zone.
“We are doing everything possible to ensure the success of the ongoing reconciliation process and we have been talking about various issues, especially that of the zoning of national posts allotted to the Southwest…For the post of National Chairman, we have qualified aspirants from all states. So, we have allowed all of them to have equal opportunities. It is because we are interested in genuine reconciliation that we have decided not to zone the post of National Chairman.”
He expressed confidence that the disagreements would not make the zone forfeit the post as he was calling on all the party chieftains in the zone to work together.