*89 Voted For South-West, 3 Against
After a marathon meeting in Port Harcourt, the southern caucus of the peoples Democratic Party PDP finally agreed to zone the position of the party’s National Chairman to south-west.
The zoning formula for PDP in the southern region was arrived at during the meeting which held at the Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt with all the PDP governors in attendance.
According to reports, 89 among those in attendance had voted in favour of zoning of the Chairmanship position to the south-west, while only 3 voted against.
However, the south-west is to produce the National treasurer and the Deputy National Publicity Secretary for the PDP through the National Convention of the party scheduled to hold on August 17.
The leaders also agreed to zone the position of Deputy National Chairmanship slot to the south-south, while the south-east gets the National Organising Secretary slot.
It was learnt that some leaders of the PDP from the south-west had fought brilliantly to get the chairmanship slots at different caucus meetings of the party’s leaders, while the deal was sealed at their meeting with former President Goodluck, lately.
The south-west leaders at the meeting in Port Harcourt, according to reports, had swayed their colleagues from other zones with an argument that the position of National Chairman for south-west would serve as joker for actualising the plans by the opposition party to return to power in 2019.
They had argued that since the zone which contributed to the enthronement of the present government immensely has never had the chance to lead the PDP since inception, the party could not afford to look the other way on the arrangement of zoning, this time around, if it has the ambition to win elections in 2019.
The south-west leaders at the meeting, it was learnt, insisted that the zone was unfairly treated under the regime of former President Goodluck Jonathan in which case it was relegated to the back ground on power sharing.
According to reports, the south-east delegates at the meeting in Port Harcourt literally aligned with the position by the south-west leaders, and hence voted for the Chairmanship position to be zoned to the south-west as a good bargain to get the Vice Presidential slot in 2019.
Those in attendance at the meeting also confirmed that the ambition by the south-south to take over the Chairmanship slot fell flat on the basis of an argument that the zone which currently has the slot of PDP Leader and after relinquishing the Presidential slot, cannot again be favoured with the Chairmanship of the party
The Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, according to reports fought bravely to obtain the support of other zones for the south-west after speaking glowingly about the strong benefits that lies beneath the Chairmanship slots being zoned to south-west.
The governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose was said to have taken an ambivalence position on the zoning issue, although earlier reports had pointed towards his aversion to the position being zoned to the south-west.
However, members of the PDP from Lagos have started jostling to take the Chairmanship slot on the basis that it remains the only zone from south-west that has not benefited from any national office in the PDP’s zoning arrangement, whereas, Osun, Ondo and Ogun had at different times produced the National Secretary, National Treasurer and Deputy zonal Chairmanship positions.
According to reports, a former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, said he was unaware of the development because he had fallen sick lately.
A PDP Board of Trustees member, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, said he had yet to receive the news.
Another BoT member of the party, Alhaji Shauib Oyedokun, said that he had not received the report, but added that the South-West elders’ caucus of the party had met to evolve strategies towards clinching the post.