•South West leaders urge NWC to uphold Port Harcourt agreement
By Chukwudi Nweje, Seye Ojo, Ibadan and Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has dissociated the party from Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose’s 2019 presidential ambition.
Makarfi, who spoke in Kaduna, yesterday, said Fayose, who declared his presidential ambition in Abuja, on September 28, 2017, in Abuja, is on his own and that his action is contrary to the decision of the party’s convention which zoned presidency to the North.
He said: “He (Fayose) is on his own. What he is doing is not in compliance with the position of the party. The party’s position has not changed. The convention has zoned the presidency to the North and the chairmanship of the party to the South.”
Makarfi also dismissed speculations that the PDP may give former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, automatic ticket to contest the 2019 presidential poll, if he rejoins the party.
At his Abuja declaration, Fayose said he would run a purposeful government which will cater for all Nigerians, irrespective of religion or tribe.
The governor also boasted that he is the only governor in Nigeria to have served under three presidents: Olusegun Obasanjo; Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari.
“Despite that the party has zoned the presidency to the North, it may interest you (to know) that no one has come out in this manner to show interest and our party should not wait or beg anyone to fly its flag.
“Do we now say that if no one comes out from the North, the party won’t have a candidate?
“Twice, I defeated incumbents to become the governor of Ekiti State and I am confident that, with your support, as my party leaders and supporters, I will defeat the incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari, in a free and fair election…
Meanwhile, the party’s chapter in the South West rose from a one-day meeting in Ibadan, yesterday and urged the National Working Committee (NWC) to uphold the Port Harcourt, Rivers State agreement which ceded the national chairman position to the region.
Those who tabled the demand included chairman of the party in the zone, Dr. Eddy Olafeso; former national deputy chairman, Chief Olabode George; an oil magnate, Seyi Makinde; former minister of Sports, Prof Taoheed Adedoja; and former minister of Education, Prof Tunde Adeniran.
Olafeso, who read a communique that was signed by 20 leaders of the forum from Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Lagos, Ekiti and Ondo, said the region has not held the chairmanship position the since the beginning of the Fourth Republic in 1998.
“Now, at the end of the meeting, PDP South West leaders forum urged the party, on the basis of the above premise, to uphold the Port Harcourt decision zoning the national chairmanship position of our great party to the South West.
“The forum is composed of all top leaders of the party including members of the Board of Trustee, former National Working Committee members of the party, serving and former governors still in the party, serving National Assembly members, serving speakers of state assemblies and other key leaders from the six states of the zone, met at Ibadan today (yesterday) to discuss the common position of the zone on the ongoing national chairmanship position of the party.