…Zone endorses Buruji as leader, Wants North to retain chairmanship
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, national chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff yesterday in Abuja said he would soon relocate to the South-West to reconcile warring members of the party.
He made the declaration when leaders of the party from the zone led by the national vice chairman, Chief Makanjuola and Senator Kashamu Buruji paid him a solidarity visit at the party’s national secretariat.
Modu Sheriff declared that PDP lost the governorship election in some states in the South-West like Oyo and Ogun at the last election because of the internal crisis within the party.
He said no matter what it would take him, he would ensure that all aggrieved members were reconciled to ensure the party recovered the states it lost to the APC during the last election.
“If our members have put their differences aside we would PDP governors in Oyo, Ogun and Lagos states today.”
He said he was already discussing with PDP leaders in the zone like Chief Bode George and Musiliu Obanikoro to resolve all the crisis in the zone.
“We cannot afford to divide our house. If it means for me to beg everybody, I will beg. You should bury you differences,” he stated.
Senator Ayo Adeosun, who spoke on behalf of delegates from Oyo State, admitted that there was serious problem in South-West PDP.
“There some influential people that are not here. We urge you to bring them on board. Lagos would have been ours but for internal wrangling,” he told the national chairman.
Speaking earlier, the national vice chairman said PDP in the South-West would have almost gone into oblivion if not for the support of Senator Buruji.
Chief Ogundipe declared that Senator Buruji remained the accepted leader of the party in the zone and appealed to Modu Sheriff to work closely with him.
“Without Buruji there will be no PDP in the South-West, though we have two governors.
“I am the zonal national vice chairman and I am giving you the correct assessment of what is happening in the zone,” Chief Ogundipe emphasized.
Other state chairmen from the zone who also spoke corroborated the position of Chief Ogundipe and described Senator Buruji as the pillar of the party in the zone.
Responding to Buruji’s endorsement as the PDP leader in the South-West, the national chairman said they must have reasons why they chose Buruji as their leader.
“You say Buruji is your leader. Senator Teslim Folarin (who was in the delegation) was a former Senate leader and senior to Buruji by ranking but today, he (Folarin) says Buruji is his leader and there must be reason for it.”
He said leadership could not emerge unless it had been sanctioned by God.
Meanwhile, on the forthcoming national convention of the party, the South-West PDP canvassed for the zoning of the position of the national chairman to the north.
In a position paper they presented to Modu Sheriff, they said it was imperative for PDP to strengthen itself, especially in the north.
“We say this because out of the five states in the South East, the PDP has three governors; we have five governors out of the six states in the South-South; in the South West, we have two governors.
“In the whole of the North, we have only two governors. We need to strengthen the North. If not, the PDP will be branded as a regional party if we go ahead to pick the National Chairman from the South,” the paper noted.
The paper, which was copied to Governors Olusegun Mimiko and Ayo Fayose of Ondo and Ekiti States respectively, as well as former PDP deputy national chairman, Chief Bode George and former Governor Gbenga Daniel respectively, said the resolution was reached after consultation with over 70 percent of party members in the South-West.
They noted that activities in the PDP national secretariat had picked since Modu Sheriff’s emergence as national chairman.