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CONVENTION: Arapaja May Resign To Contest PDP Deputy National Chairmanship Position
Taofeek Arapaja, southwest chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, may resign to contest the deputy national chairmanship position of the party.
According to Nigerian Tribune, the former house of representatives member and Oyodeputy governor, is being prevailed upon because some PDP stakeholders do not feel comfortable with the bid of a former governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola due to his perceived mutual relationship with Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former president as well as Ibrahim Babangida, ex-military president.
Oyinlola is, however, keeping his ambition alive ahead of the convention, despite all the intrigues from opposition quarters.
The permutation is what the PDP governors elected from other geopolitical zones are proposing over the fresh crisis tearing apart the South-West chapter of the party over the distribution of national offices meant for the zone.
The intervention is coming on the heels of serious issues over the sharing of the posts of national deputy national chairman, national publicity secretary and deputy national secretary, allegedly being doing done without due consultations.
The governors are said to be keen on their desire to avoid a scenario where governors and other party chieftains would operate under the shadows of two influential former Nigerian leaders who have undisguised sympathy for PDP.
The governors are concerned that, among the six zones, it is only in the SouthWest PDP that there are discordant tunes over the positions about two weeks to convention of the party.
Governors from other zones are expressing fears pointing to Oyinlola’s decision to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, at the height of the crisis that crippled PDP in the recent past, coupled with the factionalisation in the party in his home state, Osun.
Similarly, allies of a former national secretary of PDP, Professor Wale Oladipo, who also hails from Osun, said he had no plan to back down on his chairmanship bid at the convention, accusing a chieftain of PDP in the zone of attempting to rid a roughshod on other PDP critical stakeholders in the South-West.
Top-level sources in the PDP told the Nigerian Tribune at the weekend that one of the chieftains in the zone singlehandedly allocated the national offices based on his whims and caprices.
For instance, he was said to have offered the post of national publicity secretary to a former member of the House of Representatives from Lagos State, Honourable Rita Orji.
The offer was later changed to the post of deputy national secretary when she allegedly complained of lack of requisite experience to man the office.
Consequently, the said leader was said to have moved the position to Ondo State, where three PDP stalwarts have already indicated their interest.
One of the contenders is the immediate past national vice chairman, PDP South-West, Chief Eddy Olafeso, who was said to have obtained nomination form for the contest.
Besides, some party buffs from the zone reportedly opposed the choice of Orji on the ground that though she plays her politics in Lagos State, Orji hails from Imo State in the South-East, the area PDP zoned the office of national secretary.
The zone has endorsed Senator Anyanwu for the post ahead of PDP convention coming up this month.
According to sources, three chairmanship contenders might slug it out at the national convention if the crisis of confidence in the South-West PDP caucus subsists.