Some South-West chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party have begun moves to agree on a candidate for the national chairmanship position of the party for the region ahead of its national convention in December.
At a meeting convened by the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, in Lagos on Monday night, the party chieftains agreed to meet again to present a common front at the convention.
Apart from Fayose, those present at the meeting included a former governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Rashidi Ladoja; a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Bode George; a former Minister of Information, Chief Dapo Sarumi; a former National Vice-Chairman of the PDP (South-West), Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipupo.
Fayose said he convened the meeting to “to share aspirations with them, find a common ground and go to the convention as an indivisible and united” group.
The governor said it would be wrong for the South-West PDP to “go to the convention like people without cohesion”.
The Ekiti State governor, who had declared his intention to contest the presidential ticket of the party, said there would be subsequent meetings which would involve other key stakeholders of the party in the region to decide on a candidate among the aspirants vying for the position from the zone.
The national chairmanship position of the PDP had been zoned to the South-West but no fewer than four aspirants have mounted serious campaigns to vie for the party’s number one seat.
Those who have declared their interest in the position include George; a former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; a former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran; and a former Minister of Youths, Prof. Taoreed Adedoja.
Both Daniel and Adeniran were not at the meeting, but Fayose expressed confidence that they would be at subsequent ones.
He said Daniel sent a message that he could not make it to the venue of the meeting because he was held up, adding that he believed that both the ex-govenor of Ogun State and Adeniran would also be at the next meeting.
Ladoja, who contested the 2015 governorship election in Oyo State on the platform of Accord Party, said he was officially back in the PDP.
Ladoja was governor of Oyo State while in the PDP before he defected to Accord Party.
At the meeting, the former Oyo State governor said he was still consulting people on whether to also contest the national chairmanship position of the PDP, adding that by the end of the week, his decision on the matter would be made public.
Oladipupo stated, “PDP has only one governor in the South-West in the person of Fayose. He is our rallying point and he is the leader of the party in the South-West, and more so, he is also the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum.
“For this reason, he must be our rallying point to make our decision known at the national convention. We endorse his calling this meeting and many more with more stakeholders before the convention.”
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