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Saturday, 4 November 2017

NIGERIANS ENDURED PDP FOR 16 YEARS, BUT CAN’T WAIT TO be RID OF APC IN 2 YEARS – ADEDOJA

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership has been advised to ensure that the new national chairman of the party is elected by the delegates during the party's forthcoming convention.

Giving the advice in an interview with SATURDAY SUN, an aspirant for the position and former Sports Minister, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, advised the party's national caretaker committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi not to buy the suggestion of consensus or micro-zoning of the position to the Southwest as being canvassed by some people.

Adedoja who was also former Minister of Special Duties said, the most democratic and transparent way to ensure that the best aspirant emerged to lead the party is by ensuring that delegates cast their votes for aspirant of their own choice.

Adedoja also spoke on other national issues with 'TUNDE THOMAS. Excerpts:

What is your view on concerns being expressed over the decision of some party members across the divide to contest for the Presidency and national chairmanship zoned outside their areas?

I want to correct any wrong impression being harboured by any PDP member regarding zoning. Zoning is still sacrosanct in PDP. The National Caretaker Committee Chairman of PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi has not made any statement repudiating or jettisoning zoning in PDP. Makarfi has not made any U-turn in respect of zoning in PDP. The situation still remains the same, specifically the position of PDP National Chairman has been zoned to the South, while Presidency has been zoned to the North. Anybody or party member working against this arrangement is on his own. Now talking about the office of the national chairman, that position is a key one especially in view of efforts being made to reposition PDP, and in doing so, my own stand is this, let the best candidate emerge from the South where the position had been zoned, and the same thing with the North, let the best candidate emerge from the zone as the party's flagbearer for the 2019 presidential election.

Having said this, I also believe that it is not for the convention to decide that the office of the party chairman should be micro-zoned. I believe that PDP should have learnt its lessons, from past experiences and this is one of the reasons why I'm against micro-zoning the office of PDP national chairman. If today Makarfi micro-zoned the PDP national chairman office to the Southwest, then the same logic, the same principle, the same argument and the same political pronouncement would give rise to the need to also micro-zone the presidential slot to any of the three geo-political zones in the North. However, it is a known fact today within PDP and outside PDP that, of all the three zones in the South, it is only the Southwest that has not occupied the office of PDP national chairman, either in the interim capacity, or acting capacity or full time capacity.

But don't you agree that in the spirit of equity, fairness and justice, the Southwest should be allowed to produce the next PDP national chairman?

I want to tell you that it is the same spirit of equity, fairness and justice that would impress it on delegates from three geopolitical zones from the North to vote for a aspirant from the Southwest as the next PDP national chairman during the convention. It is also the same principle of equity and justice that will also make the Southeast to vote for a Southwest aspirant and the same also applies to the Southsouth delegates that I also see voting for a Southwest aspirant in the spirit of fairness, equity and justice. But I don't believe that this position should be forced down the throat or impose on any geopolitical zone in the South. I prefer that the conscience of these delegates from other geopolitical zones should tell them the right thing to do, rather than forcing it on them. We should not impose any decision on them. This is the essence of democracy. No imposition. No to impunity.  Again, whoever emerges as the PDP national chairman from anywhere in the Southwest
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