•Sheriff lobbies govs to retain position
From Taiwo Amodu, Abuja
Despite imminent threats of mass resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) by its chieftains, opposed to the incumbent chairman’s bid for a fresh mandate, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff may not quit on May 21, it was gathered.
It also emerged yesterday that the party’s Zoning Committee, chaired by Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel and state governors will meet today in Abuja.
Daily Sun investigations indicated that having secured an agreement from the zoning committee, which has allegedly zoned the position to the North East, the former Borno State governor has now reached out to former governors, particularly those from his zone, the North East and the North-west geo-political zones to seek their support ahead of the PDP national convention scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on May 21.
Besides the high-powered lobby to retain his office, and scramble for endorsements from kinsmen and a sizeable number of incumbent governors on the party platform, the former governor has equally secured the blessings of a former North West governor who is now a serving All Progressives Congress, (APC) senator.
Also on the list of his backers is former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, Daily Sun gathered.
A position paper sent to the zoning committee by the Former PDP Ministers’ Forum asking them not to allow any of the serving members of the party national working committee to seek any elective office at the next month convention was reportedly rebuffed as being “undemocratic.”
The arrangement the committee reached at its maiden meeting at the weekend in Uyo offered all the key national officers of the party the latitude to return to Wadata Plaza, the party’ national secretariat.
By the new arrangement, which would be presented to the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) for ratification, the positions of deputy national chairman, national secretary and national organising secretary have been zoned to South south, south-west and south-east.
A party source told Daily Sun that the incumbent deputy national chairman, Uche Secondus from Rivers state and national secretary, Professor Wale Oladipo from south-west are smarting to retain their offices, since it has been zoned to their respective zones.
It was also said gathered that the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh may also throw his hat into the ring to pick the position of National Organising Secretary zoned to the South East.
By the new zoning arrangement, the South West will now produce National Publicity Secretary.
In a related development, two separate meetings of the zoning committee led by Emmanuel and the party’s governors, under the leadership of Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, will hold tonight in Abuja. It was not clear on Monday evening if the party’s NationL Working Committee (NWC) would the zoning committee at the meeting scheduled to hold at the Akwa Ibom Government Lodge in Abuja.
Meanwhile, former deputy national chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George has said he is not hustling for any position.
He spoke at a press briefing in Lagos at the weekend where he said although he believes in “service and sacrifice,” he was not desperate to serve.
George is being speculated to be the South West candidate for the position of National Chairman if it is zoned to the area.