In a meeting attended by Governors, National Assembly Members and Former Ministers, the Southern Nigeria PDP also zoned the positions of National Treasurer and Deputy National Publicity Secretary to the South West.
The party zoned the position of First Deputy National Chairman to the South-South. The South-South also got the positions of National Legal Adviser, Deputy National Women Leader and Deputy National Auditor.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said despite the zoning of the positions, any party member willing to contest any position is free to do.
Recall that the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the PDP had in a zoning formular for national offices of the party released in July, ahead of the party’s national convention, slated for August 17, 2016, had zoned the position of the national chairman among other positions to Southern Nigeria.
The report, which had been presented by Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, who headed the Zoning Committee, had equally the positions of Deputy National Chairman 2, National Secretary, National Financial Secretary, National Publicity Secretary, National Auditor and National Woman Leader to the North are.
Others were: Deputy National Treasurer, Deputy National Organizing Secretary, Deputy National Youth Leader, Deputy National Legal Adviser and Deputy National Secretary.
Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Deputy National Woman Leader, Deputy National Auditor and Deputy National Financial Secretary, were also zoned to the South.
Gov. Umahi, while presenting his report, had said: “After robust deliberations on proposals presented by members, the committee proposed that all positions should be keenly contested for among the major zones they are zoned to. This will open the space and allow for full participation of members.
“That the chairmanship of the party be zoned to the Southern zone bearing in mind that the presidential ticket of the party for 2019 was zoned to the Northern zone. This is as was approved by the National Convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers on Saturday, May 21, 2016,” Gov. Umahi had noted.
Consequent upon the zoning of the PDP national Chairmanship to the Southern zone, a flurry of heavy names had emerged as possible aspirants for the top job, including Sir (Dr.) Peter Odili, former Governor of Rivers State (who had been regarded in many quarters as the front runner on the list), Prince Uche Secondus, the immediate past Deputy Chairman, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees, Chief Bode George and a former senator and member of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Bode Olajumoke.
Others mentioned on the list were former Nigeria Ambassador to the United States, Professor Tunde Adeniran, former Lagos state Governorship candidate of PDP, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, former Governor of Ogun State Otunba Gbenga Daniel, a former Deputy Chairman and Member, Board of Trustees of PDP, Chief Shuaib Oyedokun and chairman of Daar Communications Plc, owners of African Independent Television, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, who is from Edo state in the S/South zone and had already commenced a robust and committed campaign tour to PDP secretariats across the Southern states, before this new announcement to zone the National Chairmanship to the South West.
With the decision of the PDP Southern Nigeria to zone the National Chairmanship to the S/West, the choice of National Chairman has narrowed considerably to a select group of visible aspirants, including Chief Olabode George, who purchased his nomination form just immediately after the decision was announced, and the coast is now clearer for the aspiring personalities to intensify their campaign, as the proposed August 17, 2016 national convention date draws nearer.