- Crisis in South-West PDP deepens
From Taiwo Amodu, Abuja, Segun Olatunji, Abeokuta and Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is gradually inching towards explosion as two new factions have emerged within its rank.
While some chieftains of the party operating under the Concerned PDP Leaders led by former Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu rose from a meeting yesterday with a vow to conduct a parallel national convention in Abuja, another group under the leadership of former Information Minister and member of Board of Trustees of the party, Professor Jerry Gana met at NICON Luxury and kicked against resolutions of the party National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held last Thursday.
The party’s national convention is slated for Port Harcourt on May 21.
The Concerned PDP Leaders which has former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed and former Minister of Environment, John Odey as members demanded also rejected the zoning of the office of national chairman to the North-East.
The group in a communiqué read by Aliyu after its meeting in Abuja while calling for the postponement of the national convention, appealed to the leadership of the party to re- visit the fundamental issues to enable the party organize and conduct a more cohesive and acceptable national convention to avert a situation where aggrieved members may be compelled to organize parallel congress/convention.
However, the National Working Committee of the party yesterday announced the dissolution of the caretaker committees for Lagos, Adamawa and Ogun states.
In a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh, the party dis- closed that it has reconstituted a new ones.
The party offered no reason for its action and did not reveal names of members of the new committees.
Daily Sun investigation, however, revealed that last weekend’s ward congresses in some of the states were embroiled in controversies.
This is even as the simmering crisis in the South-West caucus of the party blew open yesterday with the convening of separate meetings in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State and Akure, Ondo State simultaneously.
However, the two factions agreed on the current zoning arrangement prescribed by the National Zoning Committee led by the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Emmanuel Udom. But, while the Ijebu-Igbo meeting voted for the continuation of the party’s acting National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff in office, the faction that met in Akure agreed that the plum office should go to the north, but was silent on whether Sheriff should retain the office or not.
The Akure meeting was at- tended by governors Olusegun Mimiko and Ayo Fayose, Chief Olabode George,
Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo, Mr Jimi Agbaje, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Jelili Adesiyan, Jumoke Akinjide, Mulikat Adeola Akande, Adeseye Ogunlewe among other prominent leaders, while the Ijebu-Igbo meeting led by Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe was attended by Alhaji Fatai Adeyanju; Ondo State PDP Chairman; Oyo State PDP Chairman, Yinka Taiwo; Ondo State PDP Chairman, Dr. Olu Ogunye; members of the House of Representatives from Oyo and Ogun states, Segun Odebunmi and Segun Adekoya respectively; national ex-officio member, Chief Jide Damazio; Dr. Ade Dosunmu and former Oyo and Ekiti states deputy governors, Azeez Gbolarumi and Abiodun Aluko, respectively, 38 out of the 46 state exco members from Lagos State as well as other party chieftains.
Ogundipe commended Sheriff’s efforts towards rebuilding and repositioning the PDP ahead of the 2019 general elections and declared that the former Borno State governor be confirmed as the substantive national chairman in the interest of the main op- position party.
Dr. Mimiko said the meeting which was at his instance and that of Governor Fayose of Ekiti State was to ensure the unity of the party in the interest of the country and the future.
In a communique read by former minister of Education, Prof Taoheed Adedoja, the faction said a structured committee would be set up to equitably distribute the three national positions amongst the six states. The faction also resolved to re-energise the structure of the party in all the South-West states and the country at large in order to take over from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019.
Also speaking, Fayose who said the party has united to fight the APC-led government, warned money-bag politicians to move out of the PDP, saying, “we won’t allow the money-bags to ruin our party.”