By Ben Agande, Abuja.
The south west chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party yesterday canvassed that the chairmanship position of the Party should remain in the northern part of the country in order to make the party more appealing to all parts of the Country.
In a position paper presented to the national Chairman of the Party, Ali Modu Sheriff when leaders of the party from the zone visited him in Abuja Thursday, the leaders noted that if the party zones the position to the south as being canvassed by some members of the party, “the PDP will be branded as a regional party”.
The delegation, which was led by Senator Buruji Kashamu who was
unanimously endorsed as the south west leader of the party, comprise of chairmen of the party from all the states in the South West.
In a position paper presented to the National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, the group admitted that there were serious problems with the party in the zone and urged the national chairman to move to bring the party back to life.
“In the South East, the PDP has three governors; we have five
governors out of the six states in the South-South; in the South West, we have two governors.
“In the whole of the North, we have only two governors. We need to strengthen the North. If not, the PDP will be branded as a regional party if we go ahead to pick the National Chairman from the South,” the paper noted.
The paper, which was copied to Governors Olusegun Mimiko and Ayo Fayose of Ondo and Ekiti States respectively, as well as former PDP Deputy National Chairman, Chief Bode George and former governor Gbenga Daniel respectively, said the resolution was reached after consultation with over 70 per cent of party members in the South West.
While pledging their loyalty to the chairmanship of senator sheriff, the leaders noted that “activities in the PDP National Secretariat has picked since Sheriff emergence as National Chairman.
“We are more than willing to join hands with all well meaning leaders and elders of the party to fund the party in the South West, including bearing all the expenses of the party during the coming congresses up till the National Convention where all the delegates will be guided and supported up till where they will do the needful,” the report added.
The leaders who unanimously endorsed Senator Kashamu Buruji as leader of the zone, said PDP would have won Osun, Ogun and Lagos States but for internal wrangling within the party.
Senator Ayo Adeosun who spoke on behalf of delegates from Oyo State, admitted that there was serious problem in South West PDP.
“There are some influential people that are not here. We urge you to bring them on board. Lagos would have been ours but for internal wrangling,” he told the National Chairman.
The National Chairman who promised to undertake tour of South West states to reconcile aggrieved members, however, reminded them that it is God that chooses a leader.
“South west is extremely important to me. I plan to visit all the states. Before now, Oyo was PDP controlled state. If my brothers and friends put their house together we would have had governor in Oyo.
Same applies in Ogun. Worse is Lagos. All the principal actors are people I talk to one to one. If we are divided we will fall.”We will bring all of you together and whosoever is wrong we will tell them you are wrong and we will work together. “Everybody will get what he wants.
I want to get the people of south west to bury our differences. “We cannot afford to divide our house. If it means for me to beg everybody I will beg. I did not bargain to be chairman of PDP but since God brought it I will do the job.
“He further assured that forthcoming congresses soon, will be free, fair and devoid of impositions.”I will warn the congress committees that they must allow what the leaders and people want in the state to take place.
We won’t impose anybody. We will make sure you choose your leaders by yourself.
That is what I intend to do” he said.Two governors from the state in the zone, Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo and Ayo Fayose of Ekiti were however absent.
Other prominent members of the party that were absent include former ministers Bode George, Shuaibu Oyedokun, Ebenezer Babatope, Dr Doyin Okupe, Femi Fani-Kayode, Gbenga Daniel among others.
Speaking on behalf of South West leaders at the meeting Ogundipe said “there will be no South West without this man, even though we have two governors.
without Buruji in the South west there is no southwest. Hold him tight he will assist you.”
Sheriff promised to study their position paper presented to him, and said there should be no more imposition of leaders on the people.