PDP Chairmanship position tears party's South-West leaders apart

Mimiko and Fayose were said to have hosted a meeting in Akure on Monday to decide on the zoning of the offices zoned to the South West.

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Leaders of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-West have vowed to foil plots by the Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State to impose the next national chairman of the party on them.

Speaking in an interview with Punch on Tuesday, August 9, the South-West Zonal Chairman of the party, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe, said they will meet and choose their preferred candidate before the party's August 17, national convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Mimiko and Fayose were said to have hosted a factional meeting in Akure on Monday to decide on the zoning arrangement of the positions allocated to the south-west - the meeting Ogundipe described as a “nullity and non-inclusive.”

He said: “We won’t allow Mimiko and Fayose to impose any national chairman on members of the party from the zone and the country in general.

“The Akure meeting is a nullity because they didn’t even allow the genuine delegates to have access to the venue of the meeting.

“A meeting that was dominated by non-delegates to the national convention, statutory delegates were barred and so on, cannot be said to be in the interest of the party in our zone.

“It is sad that even when a court of competent jurisdiction gave a valid judgement that our executive should be in office till 2018, the governors are disregarding it.

“We won’t go anywhere if we continue to choose the judgement to obey and the one to disregard. We are therefore meeting at Ibadan this week to take a constitutional decision on the issue.”

The factional leaders, at the Akure meeting, had zoned the office of the national chairman to Ogun and Lagos states, Ekiti and Ondo states were allocated the office of the national treasurer, while the deputy national publicity secretary slot went to Oyo and Osun states

According to reports, the Independent National Electoral Commission only recognises the Makanjuola-led zonal executive, which was said to have been excluded from the Akure meeting.

Members of the Ogun State executive committee were also said to have been prevented from gaining access to the venue of the meeting.

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At a meeting in Ibadan, Oyo State on Tuesday, August 8, the South-West leadership of the party had declared that the position of the chairman of the party that was zoned to the zone by the National Working Committee of the party is open for all interested candidates to contest.

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