By Emma Ujah, Ben Agande & Henry Umoru
ABUJAâ€”FORMER Governor of Enugu State and former National Secretary of the Peoplesâ€™ Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Okwesileze Nwodo has been adoptedÂ by South East governors as the next National Chairman of the ruling party.
Vanguard gathered from impeccable sources that the decision was informed by the realization that Nwodo was the choice of President Goodluck Jonathan who, it was learnt, informed political leaders from the South East Zone that he could work well with him and that Nwodo should be allowed to serve the party at this critical time.
A highly placed official ofÂ PDP said the President informed the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, that he should drop his opposition to the emergence of Nwodo as the National Chairman of PDP and allow him to emerge as the partyâ€™s leader.
Governors of the South Eastern states where the PDP is in control are expected to meet in Abuja this evening to ratify the decision and formally present Nwodo to the relevant organs of the party for onward presentation to the partyâ€™s National Executive committee for endorsement.
The source explained that following the opposition of the Deputy Senate President to the candidacy ofÂ Nwodo, the President called the Deputy Senate President and informed him as the political leader of the South East that he would like to work with Nwodo.
The source added: â€œOf course, Ekweremadu obliged and that was what informed his decision to issue the press release saying that he did not disagree with the President on the choice of the PDPâ€™s national chairman.â€
In the statement signed by the Deputy Senate Presidentâ€™s Media Adviser, Paul Odenyi, the Deputy Senate President was quoted as saying: â€œI have no disagreement with the Presidency over anything, not least the choice of who will be the chairman of our party. Instead we are working closely together on the process to choose someone who will reflect the character and strength of the party across the country.
â€œI am proud of the quality of people that have shown interest in the race. They are very credible people and those that have paid their dues. They are all my brothers and I have no reason to oppose the choice of any of them. We are working with all the stakeholders including our members at the Presidency to conclude the process of selection of a new party chairman.
â€œThe office of National Chairman of the ruling party is very important and I am sure that all the effort invested in the process will be justified by the person who will be presented to our members.â€
There were also indications that a sizeable number of the partyâ€™s leaders were looking in the direction of the Chairman, PDP Elders Reconciliatory Committee, Senator Ike Omar Sanda Nwachukwu. Their thinking was premised on the plethora of successful reconciliation efforts of Nwachukwu and his team.
The Nwachukwu-led committee was set up by the immediate past National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, to among others, nip in the bud the crisis in the party especially in the states with a view to bringing on board all the warring members. For this, he set off for the journey alongside other members of the committee and they traversed the nooks and crannies of the country, to all the six geo political zones.
PDP BoT to ratify candidate
There were indications, yesterday, that the PDP Board of Trustees, BoT, would meet, Monday night, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja to ratify the party choice of the National Chairman.
Notice of the meeting, slated for Monday, 7 June,Â was signed by the former Governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, who tendered his letter of resignation as Secretary of BoT last week.
Sources said that President Goodluck Jonathan would, at the meeting, submit to the 90-member BoTÂ Prince Vincent Eze Ogbulaforâ€™s replacement.
It would be recalled that Ogbulafor had, May 14, resigned as the partyâ€™s National Chairman, to enable him pursue his case with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC in court.
Also speaking on the development, a member of the PDP National Working Committee, NWC, said: â€œStarting from the National Caucus of the party, which meets on Sunday to look at the list of candidates for the office of National Chairman, after the meeting, the list and comments would be sent to the BoT and finally to the NEC for ratification.â€
The PDP Caucus meeting which will be attended by President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, Deputy Senate President, Senate Leader and the Deputy as well as the Senate Whip will be presided over by the Acting National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Mohammed Harilu Bello while the National Secretary, Abubakar Baraje would serve as secretary of the caucus.