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Stakeholders seek support for Southwest

By Seye Olumide
07 December 2017   |   4:10 am
It is still uncertain whether the Southwest geo-political zone will produce the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday considering the level of inconsistencies....

Ahmed Makarfi

It is still uncertain whether the Southwest geo-political zone will produce the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday considering the level of inconsistencies, bickering and backstabbing that has been on display among stakeholders from the area.

Apart from the fact of the insistence of the South-South zone on occupying the post contrary to the Port Harcourt agreement that it should go to the Southwest, it was learnt that gladiators from the latter are themselves divided such that they have been unable to speak with one voice on how to realise their aspiration.

Although the Senator representing Ogun East on the platform of the party, Buruji Kashamu reiterated the position of the region to occupy the seat, there are some who were skeptical about his sincerity. He has been accused of playing a double game that is neither in the interest of the Southwest nor the PDP at large.

In a statement titled: ‘The majority should act now to save the PDP,’ Kashamu appealed to all delegates “to support only Southwest aspirants to save the PDP from avoidable self destruction.”

He said it was logical to request that delegates vote massively for the generally acclaimed Southwest aspirant without corruption or any public service stain to make the support of a Southwest national chairman realisable and meaningfully effectual, saying, no amount of petty monetary inducements can equate the dividends derivable from a prosperous Nigeria under a re-invented and better-structured PDP.  

While saying that equity is fundamentally about fairness to all people in every situation irrespective of peculiar shortcomings, Kashamu said his insistence on the Southwest producing the chairman is borne out of nationalistic sentiments and quest for equitable justice and fair play upon only which the PDP can thrive and win national elections again.

According to him, “Without prejudice to anybody’s right to contest irrespective of the established zoning arrangements, it is an open secret that the PDP national chairmanship has been conceded to the Southwest pre-Port Harcourt convention. As of consequence of this, other positions zoned to the Southwest were innocuous deputies to substantive offices except the Treasurer. Even the Deputy National Secretary that is a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) was not included.

“All these were because of the vital national chairmanship already conceded to the zone. In fact, if elections were to hold then, a particular promising young politician from Lagos could have won. With the aberration that the Makarfi emergence was, the centre cannot hold again given his jaundiced selfish presidential ambition without considerations to all concerned.”

The Senator called on the entire Southwest PDP leadership to be categorical now in support of the region on the tussle between the zone and the South-South saying, “Quite honestly, the logical implication of this avoidable tussle is to make uncertain, the settled Southeast Vice-Presidential quest in 2019. If the Southeast expectedly takes a principled stance in rightful support of the Southwest, naturally as a reliable tribe in adherence to agreements, the Yoruba PDP would reciprocate without any prompting. What is currently happening is glaringly an orchestrated assault on the Southwest to end up with nothing in 2019, with the disgusting connivance of the national party administrators.”

He accused the Chairman Caretaker Committee, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi of being the major impediment to a successful convention and credibly feasible permutations towards 2019 but he commended the PDP Northern Elders Forum for having demonstrated commendable pan-Nigerian initiative by refusing to be coerced or intimidated in their resolve to rightly canvass northern votes for only Southwest chairmanship aspirants.

Meanwhile, another chieftain of the party from the Southwest who did not want to be mentioned, challenged Kashamu to lead by example instead of being inconsistent in approach to critical issues of this nature.

The party member also opposed the position of the former acting National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, who had earlier said the Southwest could still settle for another position like the Vice President, Senate President or Speaker if it fails to get the national chairman.

According to him, “This is party affairs and since the presidency was zoned to the North, the South-South has just finished as president while the Southeast may likely not agree to settle for nothing less that the Vice President. What is the guarantee that the Southwest will have a senator that may likely be considered for position of President of the Senate in 2019?”

He cited the case of the Southeast zone of the All Progressives Congress (APC), “which ordinarily ought to have produced the President of the Senate but because it has no elected Senator in the 2015 election, the position was given to the north. There is no way the Southwest will trade certainty for uncertainty.”

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