A member of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Bode George, has warned his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to let its zoning arrangement become another pitfall in the 2019 general elections.
George was the guest of Sunday Politics on Channels Television where he explained the controversies trailing the recent decisions made by the party’s zoning committee ahead of their national convention.
He warned that the PDP lost in 2015 because of its disregard for the opinions of some elders of the party who are custodians of the culture of the party and its logic in making major decisions.
“The moment you derail from what is expected to be, then you are heading to perfidy.
“This is why we are ringing the bell again; please let us correct the ills of the past, let’s move to a rational decision, democracy is about debating and discussing,” he warned.
The PDP has been attributing several reasons to its dismal performance at the 2015 elections and has vowed to bounce back to prominence in 2019 with its National Chairman, Senator Ali-Modu Sheriff also promising to reconcile members and consolidate ahead of 2019.
The party’s national convention is slated for May 21, 2016 where the leadership of the party is expected to launch its comeback, but the process to that ambition of the new leadership is not enjoying a smooth ride.
Some leaders of the party in the southwest had expressed the view that if the party zones its presidential candidacy in 2019 to the north, it is the right of the southwest region to have the party’s national chairmanship position.
But when the party released the zoning arrangement ahead of the convention, the national chairmanship position was zoned to the northeast.
This has not gone down well with some of the elders who believe that the move is capable of causing the party its peace.
Olabode George, who is one of the elders of the party, noted that his main issue with the new arrangement is that the party had deviated from the concept of zoning which the party’s founding fathers created.
He noted that this is capable of doing more harm than good as the party puts efforts into winning back its relevance across the country and it would be resisted.
There are indications that members of the party from the southwest are divided over the matter as some have thrown their weight behind the zoning arrangement and the possible reemergence of the incumbent National Chairman, Ali-Modu Sheriff, at the national convention.
Chief Bode George would not consider such groups as leaders of the party. He dismissed meetings held to support the arrangement as those by impostors who do not really matter in the hierarchy of the party.
On the possible emergence of Ali-Modu Sheriff and Uche Secondus as the party’s national chairman and deputy national chairman, Mr George said that emergence of persons as leaders should be based on their impacts on the party and their acceptability from their zones.
Chief Bode George, however, said that this arrangement could be allowed but those elected at the national convention based on it should not be in office beyond March 2017.
He explained that this is to ensure that a new chairman emerges who would midwife the emergence of the party’s presidential candidate for 2019.
“The former Governor of Jigawa had come out to say he has a presidential ambition because of the report by Ekweremadu that the Presidential candidate will come from the north.
“So, he (Sheriff) cannot continue to be the Chairman. How can the north now midwife their own presidential ambition? It doesn’t work out.”
He said further that this would also ensure that the party has two years to prepare for the 2019 comeback plan without internal issues.
“It is when you have a stable platform that you can build,” Chief George said.