■ Offices still open, despite zoning – Makarfi
FROM: TAIWO AMODU, ABUJA
Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Chief Bode George yesterday picked nomination form for the office of national chairman of the party ahead of its national convention fixed for August 17 in Port Harcourt.
Saturday Sun gathered that chieftains of the party from the South met on Thursday night in Port Harcourt, where they resolved to concede the office of the national chairman to the South-west.
By the zoning arrangement presented to the party caretaker committee by the Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, the position of national chairman was zoned to the entire south.
Saturday Sun further gathered that other contenders for the exalted office from the South west include, former Minister for Special Duties, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, former Lagos State governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje and former Education Minister, Professor Tunde Adeniran.
But speaking while inaugurating the Convention Planning Committee yesterday, Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, declared that the agreement by the Southern leaders to concede the office of national chairman to South-west did not preclude aspirants from South-south or South-east from buying nomination form for same position.
He said:” The convention must be an all inclusive one. But that doesn’t mean that people can’t come together as like minds to zone offices.
It doesn’t also mean others who feel strongly against certain arrangement have been excluded.
“So, I don’t want people to have the impression that they have been excluded. After all, in a democracy, majority will have their way and minority have their say.”
Speaking with newsmen after picking his nomination form, Chief Bode George promised to revive and stabilise the party ahead of 2019 general elections, if given the mandate at the forthcoming convention.
“It takes an experienced captain to stabilise a ship hit by tornado. And if you know the crisis in PDP, that is, the position the party is facing right now. But I am happy that all is not lost, and the condition has been enhanced, zoning has gone extremely well.
“I have paid my dues in this party and I shouldn’t be afraid of anybody. Since 1999, I never left the party to anyone. I met crisis and problem; I have been able to resolve that. I have risen meritoriously, from vice chairman South west to deputy chairman south and deputy chairman overall.
“I have been able to resolve problems.
If people vote for me, I look forward to stabilise the party and put it in right position. The ruling party should get ready for serious engagement because we have started a cohesive battle ahead 2019.”
“Everybody will have to come on board even those of our friends who were angry and left for APC they are tenants there, but are landlords in PDP. If we are lucky and we get the right leadership who is fair and just and committed to the party, they will come back.”