A member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the South-West, Chief Shuaib Oyedokun, has explained why the board decided to choose three contestants from the zone to vie for the National Chairmanship position of the party at the December 9 National Convention of the party.
According to Chief Oyedokun, the BoT aggregated the position of the party in the South West to ensure the zone gains significant leverage in the chairmanship position over the South-South, hence the screening of some aspirants.
He said: “The party has zoned the chairmanship to the South and presidency to the North. We don’t want the South-West to lose out, hence the need to prune down the aspirants. We all know that the South-West is the only zone of the three in the South that has never produced a national chairman, either in acting or substantive. So, it will be rather untidy for us if we just leave it open like that.
“The elders in the party have called aspirants to agree on consensus, they will not agree. So, we decided to do a shortlist on the basis of experience and geographical spread. This is done without prejudice to whoever wants to be defiant. All we know is that we have made our opinion known and we should not let our people lose out.
“The party wants an experienced hand in party management. If you look carefully, most of the people who have been governors are not good party managers. They specialize in mis-governance and in most cases they are the ones who spoil the party because of impunity and imposition of their will on everybody.
“We need a chairman from the South-West who the opposition cannot easily intimidate or blackmail. Some of the aspirants still have baggage; they still have cases with EFCC and other law enforcement agencies. To present such people for now is not best for the PDP. It will be foolhardy.
“We need consistent people who have stayed with the party from the beginning. Those who defected from the PDP created issues for the party. On moral ground, we have to consider those who have stayed committed to the party,” he said.