• S’West faction cautions against use of wrong delegates
•’Every aspirant free to contest chairmanship position’
The peace accord signed by chairmanship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last week has suffered a setback.
One of the aspirants, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja accused the National Caretaker Committee of the party of favouring another aspirant, Uche Secondus, in the activities leading to the planned December 9, 2017 convention.
Adeniran, who spoke through the director of his campaign organisation, Shehu Gabam, alleged that some supporters of Secondus were appointed into the committee to conduct state congresses that would produce delegates for the national convention.
“There is lopsidedness in the composition of the list of the ad-hoc committee that was published last week. A particular state has members in that list and some of them are the leading campaigners for Secondus. Our campaign organization was not consulted to bring one or two persons and I am sure other aspirants were not consulted too.
“So we find it very funny and realized that the spirit behind the signing of the pact is not being respected by the party itself, not the aspirants.
“From Rivers, they have Senator George Sekibo, Austin Okpara, Dr. ThankGod Danagogo and Chief Kenneth Ubani. You can see Emeka Ihedioha leading the campaign for Secondus in that ad-hoc committee list that was released,” the Adeniran group claimed.
According to Adeniran, one aspirant is having his men deeply entrenched in a system that would determine how the delegates will emerge.
“This is an indirect way of shortchanging other aspirants and this is not good for the party. It should provide equal base for all aspirants and I say that we disagree with the composition of this list.”
The caretaker committee declined to react to Adeniran’s allegation when contacted. It was learnt that the party leadership would meet later this week to discuss the matter.
A faction of the party in Southwest zone led by Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe warned against conducting the convention with wrong delegates.
The faction threatened court action if the convention is conducted without the zone’s involvement.
At a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Ikoyi office of one of the contestants for the national chairmanship, Chief Bode George, participants said their interest was in ensuring that the party is not thrown into another crisis.
Another factional chairman and national vice chairman of the party in the zone, Chief Eddy Olafeso, said every aspirant was at liberty to contest the position of national chairman.
Olafeso, in a statement in Akure yesterday, debunked the rumour that the position has been zoned to a particular state.
“Our attention has been drawn to insinuations making the rounds that the South West executive of the party at its last meeting with stakeholders in the zone directed that aspirants to the office of the national chairman must come from a particular state.
“This is patently false as no such decision was taken. We only zoned other offices that were zoned to the South West amongst all the states in the region, and this action is traditional,” he said.
According to Olafeso, the position of national chairman and deputy national chairman were zoned to the southern states and it is beyond the scope of the South West zone to unilaterally take a stance.