In keeping with the once forgotten tradition, the zoning committee of the People Democratic Party, PDP, led by the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, recently recommended that the chairmanship position should be zoned to the South, since the presidential ticket has been zoned to the North a year ago.
However the most contentious position is the national chairman. At a meeting of party stakeholders from the South South in Portharcourt, Rivers State, they had narrowed the chairmanship of the party to South West.
Expectedly, most of the contenders for the top job come from that zone. So far some of the contenders are former Deputy national chairman of the party chairman, Bode George and former governor ship candidate in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje
They have since been engrossed in the brewing tussle to win the hearts and minds of the delegates ahead of the D-day.
Chief Bode George remains a force in Lagos politics and a political pillar in the South West. He has been trying to rally the support of delegates within the zone to line behind him. It is yet not clear how much outreach to other zones he has done but he is certainly no stranger to building political bridges having occupied the deputy national chairman seat of the party in the past.
This is what Chief Bode George has to say concerning the recent botched convention of the party in Port Harcourt.
“Jimi Agbaje betrayed me. He is a complete disappointment. God will do to him what He does to betrayers who bite the fingers that fed them. He is an embodiment of betrayal!
“He is being sponsored by those outside the South West. Governor Wike is the ring leader. Fayose is aiding and abetting him but Fayose told us in Akure that he will never follow Wike again because Wike was the one who pushed him into supporting Sheriff where he got his fingers burnt.
“The entire South West including Gbenga Daniel, Prof Adeniran and Prof Adedoja have all endorsed me. South West had taken a unanimous decision but Wike wants to impose a candidate on all of us. Jimi Agbaje jettisoned Yoruba interest. He was dodging us all. He is a betrayer. I brought him up when he was completely hopeless and this is his true colours.
“I want Wike to know that South West didn’t interfere in the choice of South South, we will not allow him to choose our leader. This is a Zonal allocation.
“We are grateful to the Police for locking up the convention venue. They are the ones who saved the PDP yesterday. Otherwise, Wike and Co would have nailed the coffin of PDP yesterday……”
Political watchers believes that Jimi Agbaje is one fine politician and patriot you can’t but love. He is one politician, who has had considerable following among the young, upwardly mobile people.
They are of the opinion that there is no reason why JK should struggle to contest the position with Bode George no matter, who is pushing him to do so. This is Bode George who broke all the rules to make JK the PDP gubernatorial candidate in Lagos against the formidable political machine of Obanikoro (Musiliu).
Bode George made sure JK emerged the candidate of his party as a new comer and he deployed all the support. One good turn deserves another.
Here is an Agbaje, whose disposition shows does not believe in the PDP for what it is. He did not even join the party until it was clear to him that the APC would not hand him the governorship ticket and this is after several denials that he was moving to the party.
Not a kobo of Agbaje’s personal money was invested in his governorship aspiration. His election, from the primary to the general election, was funded by the former President Goodluck Jonathan, coming across as no less an opportunist. He has moved from AC, to DPA, CPC, Labour and PDP, all in the pursuit of different ambitions.
Analys wondered how PDP can trust such a man with an office as huge as the national chair of the party. Sheriff, in their opinion, would be a child’s play by the time the nemesis of their choice catches up with them.
If the governors, who are said to be rooting for Agbaje are doing this because they are looking for who to control, then, they should wait for the Agbaje they did not know.
Ultimately, the decision is theirs and they might have been caught in the web of two unfavourable choices like Nigerians were in the 2015 general election, the onus is still on them to properly analyse their choices and settle for the best, at least.
Otherwise, their enemies will gladly watch them run from one court to another as they struggle to save themselves from their indiscretion and lack of wisdom.