Former presidential spokesman Dr. Doyin Okupe has said the zoning of the PDP national chairman position to the North is injurious to the interest of the Southwest.
He said the party has ignored the virtues of justice and equity, warning that the marginalisation of the zone might herald mass defection.
Okupe reflected on the zoning controversy, chiding some Southwest chieftains, who he described as charlatans, for collaborating with top party leaders to relegate the zone to the background.
In a statement titled: “PDP and the burden of justice and equity”, the former presidential aide alleged that the seed of misrepresentation was sowed by a group of political clowns and court jesters.”
He noted that the Southwest PDP elders, led by the former National Deputy Chairman Chief Olabode George, have condemned the “traitors” during their recent summit in Lagos.
He said the Southwest PDP has the intention of bidding for the position during the national convention.
Okupe said: “ I want to state categorically, without any fear of equivocation, that we, the Yoruba from the Southwest, desire and demand the post of the national chairman at the next convention of the party.
“The following are the past chairmen: Chief Solomon Lar, Chief Gemade, Audu ogbe, prince Ogbolafor, Dr Nwodo, Alhadji Baraje, Dr Haliru Bello(Acting), Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, Prince Secondus(Acting),and Sen Sheriff.
“In the last 18 years, there have been 11 chairmen from five geo-political zones. Only the Yoruba from the Southwest have been precluded from this exalted office.
“In the interest of fairness, equity and justice, it is most compelling that the Yoruba of the Southwest zone must be allowed to contest for this post at this coming National convention.”
Okupe warned that any attempt to deny the Southwest the position could spell doom.
He said: “Any attempt to do anything to the contrary, no matter the reason advanced cannot be acceptable. Failure for a Yoruba man to emerge as the national chairman can only mean two things: that there is a pervasive and concealed hatred for the Southwest in the PDP, or the PDP has very little or no regard for Yoruba interest as shown by the obvious cheating of the Southwest from the position of the House of Representatives Speaker in 2011, which was neither rectified nor compensated for the whole of four years.”
Okupe added: “The sad implication of the above is that, regrettably, many of us from the southwest may have to reconsider our membership of this great party we have helped to nurture and supported through thick and thing, a party we have loved almost more than our very existence, and the party we have served with all our natural endowment, in victory and defeat.”