As the race for who emerges national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), indications have emerged that party chieftains from the South West and South South have commence subtle clamour for the position to be zoned to their region.
It was learnt yesterday that party chieftains mainly from these two regions have began reaching out to party members across the country for position to be narrowed down to their regions.
Party sources said that at the moment only candidates from these two regions have indicated interest for the position.
So far, media mogul, High Chief, Raymond Dopkesi (South South); former governor of Cross Rivers State, Liyel Imoke (South South); former minister of education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran (South West); former deputy national chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus (South South); former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Austin Opara (South South) former chairman of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) chief Bode George (South West) are some of the early contenders for the position.
The Sen Ahmed Makarfi-led National caretaker committee of the PDP, had last Friday, inaugurated a zoning committee, led by governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi.
The zoning committee which was given a mandate to submit their report after one week, were also urged to open up the selection process to all geopolitical zones in the Southern region comprising South East, South South and South West. The presidential ticket of the party in 2019 has since been zoned to the North.
It was however gathered that a fresh clamor is emerging for the position to be zoned to the South West on grounds that it has not occupied the position since the formation of PDP.
Party sources said that party leaders from the South West have commenced moves to lobby their counterparts from other geopolitical zones to allow a candidate from the zone emerge chairman.
A party source from the zone said “Some members of the party from the South West are already reviving the lobby for the position to be zoned to the South West. They have started sending emissaries across the country to make their case for them.”
When asked if any contact has been made to the zoning committee, the source said “ I cannot confirm yet. But I know the committee is under strict surveillance because of the high stakes involved in their assignment.
“They are mindful of not making the mistakes of the earlier zoning committee led by Akwa Ibom State governor, whose report was greeted with so much acrimony and almost brought the party to its knees” the source said.
It was also learnt that the two governors from the region, Olusegun Mimiko and Ayo Fayose are not disposed to supporting any of the candidates that have indicated interest from the zone.
While Fayose, in the May 31 national convention campaigned for the North to produce the national chairman, Mimiko had remained indifferent to the clamor for the South West to produce the chairman then.
“I don’t think the two governors have weighed in on any candidate as far as I can tell now.