From Taiwo Amodu, Abuja
In a dramatic U-turn, South West chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has endorsed retention of the chairmanship position in the North.
The position of the South west is coming ahead of the national convention scheduled for May.
Daily Sun investigations indicated that this was contianed in a position paper presented to the party National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff by the National Vice Chairman (South-West), Makanjuola Ogundipe.
The zone argued that taking the chairmanship slot away from the North would further alienate people from the zone from the party and give it the toga of a regional party.
“We say this because out of the five states in the South-East, the PDP has three governors; we have five governors out of the six states in the South-South; in the South-West, we have two governors.
“In the whole of the north, we have only two governors. We need to strengthen the north. If not, the PDP will be branded as a regional party if we go ahead to pick the national chairman from the South,” the paper noted.
The position being canvassed by the South-West zone, however, appears different from the stance of the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose who has consistently argued that the zone has not produced a national chairman for the party, in the 16 years of its existence.
But further investigation revealed that the two governors in the South-West, Olusegun Mimiko and Fayose of Ondo and Ekiti states respectively, were copied. Also copied were former PDP deputy national chairman, Chief Bode George and former Ogun State governor, Gbenga Daniel.
The party chieftains further noted that the resolution to retain the national chairmanship slot in the north was reached after consultation with over 70 percent of party members in the South-West.
The position paper further read: “We are more than willing to join hands with all well meaning leaders and elders of the party to fund the party in the South-West, including bearing all the expenses of the party during the coming congresses up till the National Convention where all the delegates will be guided and supported up till where they will do the needful.”
Meanwhile, PDP chieftains from the South-West zone yesterday proclaimed Senator Buruji Kashamu as the leader of the party in the zone.
Kashamu represents Ogun-East senatorial district in the National Assembly.
The occasion of his proclamation was the solidarity visit to the National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff.
Reacting to the development, in a telephone interview with Daily Sun, a member of the party Board of Trustees, Chief Ebenezer Babatope expressed consternation over the endorsement of Senator Kashamu as the party leader in the zone.
Babatope said: “Kashamu as leader of PDP in South-west? I wish them the best of luck. That’s all I have to say for now.”
In his remarks, Senator Ayo Adeseun, who spoke on behalf of the party leaders from Oyo State, admonished the party national chairman not to be carried away by the large number of chieftains from the zone as he noted that certain powerful forces shunned the event.