There is confusion in the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ) as cracks have emerged among party stakeholders in the North over plot by some elders in the party to micro zone the chairmanship slot to the South West zone.
The party’s Caretaker Committee and the National Executive Committee (NEC) had already said the position should be open to interested aspirants from every parts of the South to contest.
Crisis erupted in Abuja on Friday after a group led by a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, issued a communique declaring that party stakeholders in the North had micro zoned the position to the South West.
But in a counter move, another group, led by Mallam Sani Kutigi disagreed with the Gana group, describing the declaration by the Gana group as “obnoxious and objectionable” plot to rail-road the region into illegality.
The Gana group, at a meeting convened under the aegis of Northern Elders and Leaders Forum, had issued a communique’ after a marathon meeting that ended in the wee hours of Friday, declaring that the chairmanship slot had been micro zoned to the South West geopolitical zone.
The communique’, dated December 1, 2017 and signed by a former Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and Mrs. Margaret Icheen, stated that the North had unanimously agreed to the micro zoning of the slot and urged delegates from the region to vote for only chairmanship candidates from the South West.
The communique’ reads: “As we head to the national convention, the forum showed keen interest on the position of the National Chairman.
“The forum received reports from the three geo-political zones of the region, regarding the micro-zoning of positions zoned to them, in line with the spirit of rotation. The forum resolved that capable and competent aspirants should be identified and supported.
“After extensive deliberations, it was resolved that, in the spirit of fairness, equity, carrying every part of the country along, giving every geo-political zone a sense of participation and inclusion in the affairs of the PDP, we strongly support the quest of the South West geo-political zone to produce the next National Chairman of the party.
“In line with our resolve to rebuild and reposition the PDP, we urge delegates from all the Northern states to abide by this decision and vote for only aspirants from the South West geo-political zone in the forthcoming national convention, in the best interest of the party. This is without prejudice to the right of aspirants from other geo-political zones to contest.”
The Gana group is loyal to one of the chairmanship aspirants from the South West, Prof Tunde Adeniran, while the Kutigi group is loyal to an aspirant from the South South, Prince Uche Secondus.
At a media briefing in Abuja on Friday, members of the Kutigi group, who also attended the meeting, accused Shekarau, Gana and others of betraying a mutual agreement not to micro-zone the position.
According to Kutigi, Gana and his group lacked the authority to speak for the North on the matter, describing their action as an insult and a slap on the face of party members from the South.