As Adedoja declares
There is a sharp division among various groups in the South-West over whether or not the zone should produce the next national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, at the party’s forthcoming national convention.
Whereas a faction is protesting against the zoning of the chairmanship position to the North, others are agitating that it is their turn to produce the next chairman of the party. There are also those who believe that the zone should not vie for the position.
Already, a member of one of groups that is favourably disposed to the South-West producing the next chairman of the PDP, who is a former Sports and Special Duties Minister, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, has indicated interest in the race.
He protested the zoning of the slot to the North, warning that it may create disaffection, disunity and rancour.
Adedoja boasted that as a professor, faculty dean, and former head of a tertiary institution, former governorship candidate, minister and party loyalist, he is more than qualified to successfully marshal the affairs of the party, restore confidence and ensure electoral victory.
“I am a bridge builder. The unifying factor that will bring about the required confidence of the founding fathers, who laid the solid foundation for a party built on principle, justice and equity.
“The party needs a chairman who has never been a factional leader; the party needs a chairman who will be acceptable in all parts of the country; a chairman who is well grounded in human relations,” Adedoja said.
Another group led by Sen. Buruji Kashamu thinks otherwise saying that fairness and equity demand that the position be zoned to the North to balance the power equation.
These discordant tunes emerged when the southwestern leaders gathered at an extraordinary Summit of the South-West of the party to deliberate on issues germane to the progress of the party especially ahead of the elective national convention.
In a 14-point communiqué read by Chief Olateru Olagbegi, the leaders declared that the South West zone was equally well qualified to lead the party, “given our rich antecedents of history, knowledge and culture.”
They also resolved that a powerful delegation of “Yoruba people should be mustered to demand for the position of the chairman of the PDP.
The leaders, who declared that they would not tolerate being treated as orphans within the PDP again, said that the region was more than qualified to lead party and that they would no longer accept to be relegated to t he background.
Faulting the position of the Senator Buruji Kashamu- led group, the communiqué said, “Those who renounce the position of the National Chairmanship of our party do not speak for the Yoruba people.”
Speaking at the forum, former deputy national chairman of PDP, Chief Olabode George, said it was high time the national chairmanship of the party came to the South West zone, and contended that the zone had a lot of qualified persons that could occupy the seat.
In his speech entitled: “The State of Our Party,” George said, “We will never accept a situation where the Yoruba people are shoved aside to play a subservient, insignificant role in the restructuring and the remoulding of our party.
“There have been some nauseating, and very disturbing noise from some peripheral and provincial characters who claim to speak for our people. That is not true.
“How can any well-meaning Omoluabi say that our people don’t deserve the chairman position of our party? It is unheard of! It is almost tantamount to cultural treachery. It is sad and sickening. It is absolutely improper and immoral.”
Accordingly, Adedoja, who later addressed the media in company of Chief George said, “We have over 300 chieftains who are eminently qualified for the position. Eighty per cent of northerners want the PDP chairman to come from the Southwest.
“Only 20 per cent oppose because of the interest of an individual in the North. If the position is not zoned to the Southwest, it does not stop our ambition. We should change the zoning arrangement.”
The former minister decried the alleged marginalisation of the Oyo State chapter, urging the national leadership to take appropriate action to reverse the trend.
He said only three members were appointed into committees, including the convention, finance, reconciliation and zoning committees.
Some of the leaders that attended the summit are the former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George; former Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel; former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Erelu Obada; Chief Ebenezer Babatope; Senator Bode Olajumoke; Prof. Taoheed Adedoja; former House of Representatives Leader, Mulikat Akande-Adeola; Oloye Jumoke Akinjide; Dr. Doyin Okupe, among others said that the zone was adequately prepared for the coveted seat.