By Henry Umoru
ABUJA — AHEAD of the election of the new Chairman of the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, there are strong indications that the North, especially the core part in the political calculation, is not keen about producing Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s replacement as Chairman of the Board.

Vanguard gathered at the weekend that the North was withdrawing because if it pushes for the position and produce the BoT chairman, its chances of negotiating and pushing for the presidency ahead of 2015 may be jeopardised.

A senior member of the BoT and a northerner who spoke with Vanguard said: “BoT is presently made up of 88 members with some as statutory members and at present, the core North is not too keen about producing the next chairman of the board because of 2015 presidential election and if the North does that, it may affect the chances of producing a president from the zone.

“The North already has the position of Secretary of BoT in the person of Senator Walid Jibrin. At the moment, strong feelers have it that former Vice President Alex Ekwueme may be favoured for that position.”

The North presently has the position of National Chairman of the PDP in the person of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur from Adamawa State following the zoning of the position to North East before the March convention while Vice President Namadi Sambo is from Kaduna State, North-West Zone and the number three citizen, the Senate President, David Mark, is from Benue, North-Central zone of the country and the BoT Secretary, Senator Walid Jibrin is from Nasarawa State, also North-Central.

Meanwhile, with his return to the country after a short break, the PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, was said to have begun discussions with some BoT members especially on the letter of resignation by the immediate Chairman, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

But Vanguard gathered that no date has been fixed for a meeting of the BoT against the backdrop that the chairman will need to meet and brainstorm on issues affecting PDP with the leader of the party and President Goodluck Jonathan.

It would be recalled that former President Obasanjo had in a letter to the National Chairman in April 3, resigned his position as Chairman of BoT.

In the letter, he said, ‘’I have formally sent in my letter of resignation as the Chairman of BoT of PDP to the National Chairman of the party as prescribed in the party’s constitution.

‘’I have formally requested the President to allow my bowing out and to issue a short statement to that effect. By relieving myself of the responsibility for chairmanship of BoT of PDP, I will have a bit more time to devote to the international demand on me.”

It was also gathered that as the race for the chairmanship position is on, former Chairman of the party, Dr. Amadu Ali, former Senate President, Ken Nnamani are said to be interested, just as erstwhile Vice President Alex Ekwueme is also being penciled down for the position.

Ali who is said to be having the support and backing of former president Olusegun Obasanjo may have problem from his zone against the backdrop that the secretary of the board, Senator Walid Jibrin is from the same North Central zone with Ali.

As part of moves to frustrate Amadu Ali, PDP governors of the North Central States have concluded arrangements to push him out as a candidate for the position of chairman of the board. It was gathered that as part of moves not to heat the politics in the party and especially that of the north central, the five PDP governors of Kogi, Kwara, Plateau, Benue and Niger state have decided the BoT secretary who is already there and push against the person who is not there and for the zone not to lose out at the end of the day.

It was also gathered that one of the reasons why the aspiration of Ali is being frustrated by the zone is that the North Central is not ready to have a person who may be forced to resign later especially against the backdrop that Farouk Lawan’s Committee report on the management of the nation’s subsidy mentioned him as one of the beneficiaries.

According to a source, the North Central wants to settle with the position of Secretary which it has in its hands rather than present a candidate who may be asked to resign like in the case of former National Chairman of PDP, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor or that of former Secretary, Abdullahi Adamu who resigned as secretary of BoT following some allegations that were raised.

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