PDP zones chair to north, secretary to south
The office of the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the secretary have been zoned to the north and south respectively, ending weeks of speculations.
The zoning committee of the PDP headed by Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel met on Saturday night and proposed a zoning formula for the offices available for grabs at the party’s national convention billed for next month in Port Harcourt.
The committee at the meeting that took place in Uyo was presided over by Emmanuel, according to information gathered by The Guardian.
Sources close to the committee disclosed that a proposal zoning the offices to the six geo-political zones of the country was ready.
“The Akwa Ibom governor who is the chairman of the committee hosted members in a meeting at Uyo on Saturday night and I can tell you the issue of zoning has been addressed”, an official of the party said yesterday.
The official, however, declined to give details explaining that the committee would have to present its proposal to the national chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff who in turn may have to present it to the National Working Committee (NWC) for ratification.
The Guardian learnt that a meeting has been fixed for tomorrow to work out the details for the geo-political zones.
However, it was learnt that the proposal was being guarded secretly because of some recommendations which are already generating some backlash particularly in the South West.
For instance, sources said: “That it was zoned to the North East is not the issue, the problem is that our fear that it is designed to return Sheriff to the seat is coming to reality.
“You know as we speak, there are no other serious contenders to the office of the chairman of the party and we are saying this is unfair as the presidency has been practically given to the North.”
But another official of the party, who admitted that the offices had been zoned to North and South, denied that they had been zoned to specific geopolitical zones. He said: “Also I must let you that the zoning committee meeting in Uyo went on well and there was no rancour or backlash.”
The alleged bid by Sheriff to run for the chairmanship of the party beyond May 21 has been a contentious issue in the party. Last week, reports alleged that Sheriff boosted his campaign for the office with a fleet of vehicles branded in the PDP colours and his photographs.
Besides the office of the chairman, sources hinted that the national organizing secretary and deputy national chairman’s slots were zoned to the South-South while the South East got the office of the national publicity secretary.
Meanwhile, major stakeholders of the PDP in South West zone have called for due process in the coming national convention in strict compliance with the constitution of the party.
At a conference in Lagos at the weekend, the former Deputy National Chairman, PDP South West zone, Chief Olabode George enjoined Sheriff to remain on the part of honour, saying: “He must honour his word to hand over to an elected chairman at the national convention on May 21st this year.”
The stakeholders, who include former Minister of Transport and member of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Lagos State PDP Chairman, Tunji Shelle, former Minister of Works, Adeseye Ogunlewe, Mrs. Onikeku Oshodi, former National Secretary of the party, Dr. Remi Akintoye, and Dr. Domnic Agbooola posited that the only way the interim national chairman would be on the positive side of history is to keep to his promises.
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