PDP governors wade in battle for deputy chair (South)

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Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will Wednesday pick two consensus candidates for the positions of deputy national chairmen for South and North regions.

The governors are meeting in Abuja to take final decisions on who to pick among those jostling for the two party positions.

Three party chieftains – former Osun State Governor Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former PDP National Secretary Prof Adewale Oladipo and the party’s Vice Chairman (South) Taofeek Arapaja – have shown interest in the position.

Jostling for the post from the North geo-political zone are: widow of a Finance minister, the late Adamu Ciroma,  Inna, and Mallam Umar Damagum from Yobe State.

Of strategic importance to the governors and party leaders, is the position of Deputy National Chairman (South), over permutations that whoever emerged winner may become the substantive National Chairman if the party eventually picks its presidential candidate from the North. The party, which zoned its National Chairmanship position to the North, had picked one-time Senate President Iyorchia Ayu as its consensus candidate.

The Benue State-born may have to resign as chairman if a northerner wins party’s 2023 presidential ticket after the primaries.

A party source confided in our reporter yesterday that Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde will be leading eight other governors from the South to present the regions preferred candidate for the position to their five counterparts from the North.

The position has been micro zoned to the Southwest.

Also to be ratified is the position of the National Secretary, for which party leaders in the Southeast have nominated a former lawmaker in the Eighth Assembly from Imo State, Senator Samuel Anyanwu.

However, a member of the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) from Anambra State, Chief Okey Muo-Aroh has joined the race. Muo-Aroh, insisted that the position was micro zoned to Anambra and not Imo.

There is only one candidate for the position of National Woman Leader, which is zoned to the South-South and micro zoned to Cross River State. Prof Stella Effah-Attoe is the sole candidate.

So far, the only known aspirant for the office of National Publicity Secretary, as of the time of filing this report was Mr. Debo Ologunagba from Ondo State.

Some of the remaining positions are believed to have been filled by stakeholders in the various zones and states to which they have been zoned and micro zoned.

Other contestants are said to have quietly filled and submitted their nomination forms while a few of them are said to have submitted their completed documents through proxies.

The governors and party leaders have resolved to present consensus candidates for as many positions as possible ahead of the October 30-31 convention.

This, stakeholders say, is to reduce cost and to lessen the burden of processing heaps of documents of aspirants for the various offices. It is also meant to reduce tension and recriminations that usually accompany such contests.

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