PDP: Northern Bigwigs Reject Chairmanship Offer, Says It Preferred Presidential Position
There may be realignments in the main opposition party, the People Democratic Party (PDP) following the result from of the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwanyi -led zoning committee for positions of the National Executive Committee (NEC) to be swapped between the north and the south.
The zoning committee decision which comes ahead the party’s emergency national convention was ratified at Thursday’s NEC to the dismay of the party’s leading presidential aspirants, many of whom come from the north.
Weetalknaija.com.ng gathered that northern bigwigs in the PDP congregated at the Bauchi Governor’s lodge in Abuja to discuss the latest development which translates to the National Chairman of the party coming from the north and consequentially pointing to a southern presidential candidate.
In the past one year there have been strong speculations of the PDP planning to move the position of National Chairman to the South-West, with political watchers assuming that there would be a replay of the party’s presidential primaries in 2018. The primary was won by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto took the second position with the former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki taking the third position.
This online newspaper was told that Atiku and Saraki were among a long list of influential northerners at Thursday’s late night meeting hosted by Governor Bala Mohammed, who is also believed to have presidential ambition based on the now discarded permutation of the South West getting the chairmanship position with the presidential ticket thrown wide open.
It was gathered that the North-West blatantly rejected the chairmanship position at the meeting with the North-Central being pressurized to take the offer. The argument of the North-Central has been that it would prefer the presidential ticket because since 1999, the region had produced five chairmen in PDP in the persons of Chief Solomon Lar – Plateau State, Dr Banabas Gemade – Benue State, Chief Audu Ogbeh- Benue, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, Kogi state and Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Kwara.
It was further learnt that the meeting ended with the agreement that a committee will be set up on Friday to search for northern candidate with capacity to lead the PDP up to the 2023 general elections.
“The meeting was well attended. We had two former Senate Presidents, Dr. Iorchia Ayu, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Chairman PDP Board of Trustees, Sen. Walid Jibrin, four northern governors, former VP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was also at the meeting and it was resolved that a committee would be set up tomorrow to search for the best candidate for the office of national chairman since the swap arrangement was upheld today”, the source said.
Ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, word has it that the North West has two persons interested in replacing Uche Secondus as PDP National Chairman, they are former Kaduna State governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and former Katsina State governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema. It is also being speculated that the North East has two intending aspirants in Former Gombe State Governor. Dr. Ibrahim Dankwambo and the current Deputy National Chairman North, Senator Suleiman Nazif.
Northern groups had protested the zoning arrangement at the Wadata Plaza Heaquaters of the PDP during the tension soaked NEC meeting.