AHEAD of the meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Executive Committee (NEC) fixed for Thursday, ostensibly to appoint a substantive national chairman, indications emerged at the weekend that the North East and South West caucuses of the party have sealed a deal to ensure that whoever emerges from the former zone will get only a six- month tenure.
The new chairman, it was gathered will conduct the party’s national convention.
A source said that the South-West caucus of the party is backing the North-East caucus and May likely call for an extension to “clean up the party register for the delegates’ list as a lot of party chieftains have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). You can’t organize a convention with an old register.
“The South West caucus wants to lend its support for the extension so that it can enjoy the support of the North East in the former’s determination to produce the party national chairman at the convention when new set of national officers are expected to emerge.”
Checks revealed that Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose has been in the vanguard of the agitation for the zoning of the chairmanship slot of the main opposition party to the South West as he has consistently argued at meetings of the PDP Governors’ Forum that the zone was yet to produce the party chairman.
The meetings of other statutory organs of the party, the PDP national caucus and the Board of Trustees would precede the NEC to ratify the candidate to be presented by the North- East caucus of the party.
The party source disclosed that “the caucus meeting will hold on Tuesday, simultaneously with the North-East caucus at separate venues.
“The Board of Trustees meeting where the position of the caucus is expected to be tabled will hold on Wednesday.”
Further checks revealed that the Board of Trustees may likely appoint its substantive chairman to replace Dr. Haliru Bello who has been holding forth in acting capacity after the exit of its erstwhile chairman, Tony Anenih last May.
The main opposition party has been embroiled in leadership tussle with three chieftains laying claim to its national chairman. Ahmed Gulak, erstwhile Presidential Adviser on Political Matters to former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had last Wednesday stormed the party national secretariat to assume position as the national chairman of the party.
Addressing newsmen, Gulak had claimed that a court judgment delivered by Justice Hussein Buba on December 15, 2015 asking the acting national chairman, Uche Secondus to vacate his office within 14 days equally pronounced himself (Gulak) as the new chairman of the party.
But the PDP Governors Forum had, in their emergency meeting same day condemned what they called Gulak’s invasion of the party’s national secretariat.
The governors, in their communique made available to newsmen at the end of their meeting, frowned at Gulak’s action and further declared that a meeting of the statutory organ of the party, the National Executive Committee would soon be convened to elect a substantive chairman from the North-East to replace the immediate national chairman of the party, Ahmed Mu’azu, who resigned last May.
The governors equally directed the National Secretary of the party, Professor Wale Oladipo to assume the position of national chairman.
Their proclamation was however, dismissed by the party’s National Working Committee which insisted that Uche Secondus remains the party acting national chairman.