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PDP elders planning consensus candidate for chairmanship

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Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-West region may have resolved to do everything possible to ensure that the zone goes to the national convention of the party scheduled to hold next month with a consensus candidate for the position of national chairman.

The decision, according to very reliable party sources, is to forestall a situation where the region will lose the coveted position of national chairman to the South-South region.

Speaking to The Nation shortly after an emergency meeting of PDP leaders and stakeholders of the region in Lagos yesterday, a member of the party’s Board of Trustees, pleading anonymity, revealed that in spite of the criticism and condemnations that have trailed earlier efforts to reduce the number of chairmanship aspirants from the region, party leaders at the meeting resolved to move for a consensus candidate at all cost.

He also said majority of the stakeholders at the emergency meeting which was called to discuss the chances of the region at the elective convention, threw their weight behind the call for a consensus candidate. The APC chieftain added that majority of the leading aspirants for the position from the Southwest were invited to the meeting.

“Yes. We met. And the meeting was to discuss our chances as a region at the elective national convention holding in December. You will agree with me that many observers have been saying the Southwest may lose the chance to produce PDP’s national chairman for the first time if we fail to put our house in order before the December date of the convention.

“What they are simply telling us is to reduce the number of chairmanship aspirants we are currently parading. We stand the risk of dividing our votes at the convention while the South South with less number of aspirants will get block votes and win the election. This is our dilemma and this is what we met to discuss today,” he said.

According to him, the meeting among other things, discussed possible ways of improving the region’s chances of winning the coveted chairmanship seat and resolved to do everything humanly possible to go to the convention with only one candidate. He said party leaders have been mandated to champion the cause of getting a consensus candidate for the region in good time.

“The meeting, though an emergency one, was well attended by leaders, chieftains and stakeholders from all the states in the region. Some of the aspirants themselves were in attendance. And after thorough deliberations, everything still boiled down to the fact and necessity that we need to put our house in order if we really want to win the chairmanship seat.

“More meetings and consultations will be held and the process will be announced to ensure that it is fair to all those involved,” he added.

The meeting, it was learnt also discussed an earlier report that the BoT members of the party in the region have reduced the number of aspirants to three, asking all others to drop their ambition in the overall interest of the region. Leaders and stakeholders at the meeting were said to have while agreeing that there is need to do something urgently, faulted the process adopted by the BoT members in arriving at their earlier decision.

“Yes we discussed the earlier report but we all resolved to put that aside and put in place a more open process that will give us a result that will be acceptable to all and sundry. We are hoping that it will be better handled this time and at the end of the day, reasons and superior arguments will prevail in the interest of southwest PDP.

“We want to get our acts together and do the needful before it is too late. That is why nobody is talking to the press about this just yet. We have to popularize the decision. We have to educate our people on the need to do this. We cannot force anything on anybody. We all have rights but we can all come together and reason in favour of our collective interest,” he said.


The Nation 

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