PDP Convention: Former NWC members intensify lobby for re-election amid zoning formula crisis

Posted by News Express | 5 October 2021 | 478 times

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By JOHN NWOKOCHA, Abuja

Even as crisis lingers in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over zoning of offices for the October 30 national convention intense lobbying for positions ranging from national chairman of the party to national scribe and othe rs.

News Express reliably learnt that as the convention draws closer various power blocs and caucuses are busy entertaining aspirants lobbying them for support.  

An insider has disclosed to our reporter that many of those lobbying the different caucuses are aggrieved former members of National Working Committee of PDP, affected by the sudden sack of the national chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus. He described the lobbying as ‘intense’, which he said is also affecting him as he could no longer gain unhindered access to his benefactor, one of the aspirants busy soliciting support of the relevant power blocs.  Explaining further, the source said, “they  are moving from one powerful caucus to another power bloc within the party to canvass for endorsement”.

“Somebody or group of people has to approve your aspiration, first before you can contest for any position or seek re-election.” He stressed.

Our source said their tenure was terminated abruptly against their calculations.

He also said Secondus issue has been closed. Adding that the party does not have any plan to revisit it. But to move ahead to have a successful convention with a leadership that will put the PDP in proper shape ahead of 2023 general elections.

He said: “The party does not want Prince Secondus again. But he (former national chairman), wants to go down with many people who previously held national positions under his administration.”

He continues: Are you surprised about the ongoing lobbying? Everybody wants to be in office in one capacity or the other, in order to be relevant. Otherwise, once you are out of office or the way Secondus was sent out of office, you are completely irrelevant”.

Pressed to mention some names of former NWC members lobbying to come back, by seeking re-election, he declined, saying the picture will unfold in the weeks ahead after most decisions have been taken at tomorrow’s NEC meeting in Abuja. But he ruled out automatic ticket for any of the aspirants for the positions.

Responding to another question the source said “every politician has a godfather. Somebody powerful must be behind you to get any position even in the party. You need somebody influential to favour your ambition before you can get to prominence in Nigeria politics. This is what destroyed the PDP in the first place. And it’s playing out in the ruling APC. You will see very soon an implosion of irredeemable measure in the APC”.

Meanwhile, big names like former President of the Senate, David Mark, ex-governors Ahmed Makarfi (who was once a Caretaker Chairman of the party), Sule Lamido and Babangida Aliyu, are being touted for the national chairman position in line with the new zoning of offices.

 

Recall that the PDP Zoning Committee headed by Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, had last Thursday, announced the zoning of the chairmanship of the party to the north.

The committee also disclosed that the North and South would swap all offices they currently occupy. The party National Executive Committee (NEC) is expected to ratify the zoning formula at the Thursday’s at a meeting.

We gathered however uptil the time of going to press aggrieved members of the party, including current members of the NWC are against the zoning formula. 

A  development, we learnt is raising dusts in the party as most of the NWC members see the zoning as a strategy by the governors to stop them from seeking re-election.

Recall also that the PDP Governors Forum, in their earlier intervention in the party crisis, had toyed with the idea of barring NWC members from seeking reelection in the forthcoming convention.

However, the plan was opposed in one of the NEC meeting held recently.

The aggrieved members said the zoning formula runs contrary to section 47(1) of the Constitution of the PDP, which allows elected officials to seek a second term, if they so desired.

Section 47(1) of the PDP constitution states: “All National, Zonal, State, Local Government Area and Ward Officers of the party shall hold office for a term of four years and shall be eligible for re-election for another term and no more.”

According to the aggrieved members, News Express learnt,: “What the governors are trying to do is a serious breach of PDP’s constitution which guarantees the right to seek re-election for every serving member of the NWC. They raised this at one of the meetings of NEC, but it was seriously opposed and defeated.”


Source: News Express

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