The clamour for the next national chairman to emerge from the South West has begun, LEADERSHIP Sunday has learnt.
It is was gathered that while the clamour had been simmering in the build up to the expiration of the current National Working Committee (NWC), the composition of the national convention committee headed by Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Fintiri has given more impetus to the agitation.
A party source said yesterday that party stakeholders had begun the campaign for the zone to get the position.
“This because the zone has yet to occupy the seat. Yes, some party chieftains have started meeting and calling for support for the zone to get the position this time around. The reasons are not new. It is for the same reason that was made in the build-up to the 2017 elective convention which eluded the zone. The South West remains the only zone that has not occupied the position,” he said.
The source however added that in the coming weeks the clamour would assume a bigger momentum.
So far, contenders from the zone include a former national secretary of the PDP, Col Olagunsoye Oyinlola (rtd) and a former governorship aspirant in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede.
Other contenders in the race are former deputy national chairman, Chief Olabode George and national vice chairman (South South) Dan Orbih.
Meanwhile, there are rising concerns that the party might further slump into a deeper legal crisis, reminiscent of what transpired in 2017.
This follows the refusal of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and the national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, to withdraw their cases in court over the leadership of the party.
A member of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the ego tussle between Wike and Secondus might set the party back to the era of the legal battle that ensued in 2017 between camps of Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff.
He said the inability of the reconciliation committee led by former senate president, Senator David Mark committee to yield the required results spells a bad omen for the party leadership.
The party NEC had mandated the Mark committee to mediate in the legal rift between Wike and Secondus.
A former governor of Kano State, Musa Kwankwaso, had recently warned that the party was too divided.
Reacting however, a former deputy governor of Sokoto State, Mukhtar Shagari, dismissed the insinuation, noting that the party would rebound for the better ahead of 2023.
He said, “I am very confident that the party will come out of this crisis stronger with good leadership and well-focused to win the 2023 general election.”