Patrick Osadebanwan, Abuja
Southwest leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have called on the national leadership of the party to Zone the chairmanship of the Party to the North.
This was contained in a position paper presented to the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff while the South-west leaders of the party paid him a support visit.
The leaders who eulogised the chairman of the Party, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff for his qualities argued that the depleting status of the PDP’ in the entire Northern region required a boosting measure, thus their call for the chairmanship of the party to be retained in the North.
“Mr. Chairman Sir, our own position in respect of the ongoing process leading to the congresses and the National Convention, after consulting with our leaders and elders who control over 70 percent of PDP members and structures in the South-west, is that the position of the National Chairman should not be zoned to the South.
“We say this because out of the five states in the South East, the PDP has three governors; we have five governors out of six 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.
This was part of the message contained in the position paper entitled: “Situation Of The PDP In the South West: Report Presented To The National Working Committee (NWC) Of The PDP 17 March, 2016.”
The document was signed by Senators Buruji Kashamu, Teslim Folarin, and Ayo Adeseun. Others are the state chairmen of the PDP in the six southwest states.
Copied for their information are Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state. Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state, Chief Olabode George and chief Kola Balogun of Lagos state and ex governor of Ogun state, Chief Gbenga Daniel.
Responding to their demand Sheriff said the the National Working Committee will study their position and take neccesary action.
He assured the southwest leaders that the region was of extreme importance to the party.
He added that he would do all that is within his powers to unite the various factions in each state of the region to enable the PDP emerge a unified force that will go to the next elections as a single camp.
He maintained that some of the reasons that influenced the difficult positions by the leading actors in the crises were so trivial that they could be resolved in few minutes but for lack of tact the party paid the supreme price losing the governorship to the opposition and consequently, forcing the party to become an opposition party.
He said politicians must understand that they can not always have it all but with a well structured give and take attitude all members of the party will have something to hold onto.
According to Sheriff: “We will bring all of you together and whosoever is wrong we will tell them you are wrong and we will work together.
“Everybody will get what he wants. I want to get the people of south west to bury our differences.
“We cannot afford to divide our house. If it means for me to beg everybody I will beg. I did not bargain to be chairman of PDP but since God brought it I will do the job.”
He further assured that forthcoming congresses soon, will be free, fair and devoid of impositions.
“I will warn the congress committees that they must allow what the leaders and people want in the state to take place. We won’t impose anybody. We will make sure you choose your leaders.
Speaking earlier, National Vice chairman, Southwest, Makanjuola Ogundipe said the whatever the PDP is today in the southwest is the function of the effort of Sen. Buruji Kashamu, who spared no effort in supporting the party.