Chief Bode George, erstwhile deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says the lineal composition of the Peoples Democratic Party’s structure, which favours the north, will make PDP’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar a hard commodity to market in the South West.
Recall that the positions of the national chairman and the presidential candidate are domiciled in the North.
Gov Nyesome Wike of River State and many other stakeholders of the party had called for the resignation of Iyorcha Ayu as PDP national chairman to pave way for a southerner to emerge.
While Atiku said that would only be possible if the party’s constitution is amended, Ayu maintained that he was elected, hence he must serve out his tenure.
Olabode George re-echoed the lopsidedness of the PDP structure on The Morning Show on Arise TV on Thursday.
He said, “But how do I go on the campaign trip in the South-West and tell the people that look, we are ready and you must vote for our candidate? We must realize that the opposition party has its own presidential candidate from the South-West and he will tell voters ‘I have the presidential ticket, what does the PDP have on its ticket for South-West’?
“Let’s assume the south has the presidential ticket, vice-presidential ticket and chairmanship position, how will our PDP brothers from the north take it? Will they be happy? All I am saying is to ensure justice and fairness. If they say they don’t want it, history will be on the side of the truth.
“If at this age I can’t tell the truth, then what am I doing in politics? It is not a matter of forcing Ayu out. Remember, Ayu himself stated and I quote him: ‘If the presidential candidate emerges from the north, I will resign as the chairman of the party to allow the balancing’.
“In fact, the need to have zoning now is more important than in 1998/1999. Maybe some of these people don’t understand the concept that led to the thought processes of our founding fathers. Because it is an unwritten law it is up for debate and I hope we have the opportunity to put it down in writing and everybody will be able to read it.
“Those saying they don’t believe in zoning, and don’t want it are saying that because they don’t understand what brought about it. But I am talking because I was part of the system from the very beginning.
“We have a saying from my part of the world that when you have old people in any association, they always make sure they correct the mistakes of the young ones. I am trying to refer us to that concept (zoning) that was established and brought about sanity to the nation.
“Now that we are trying to manoeuvre the concept that came from us to suit certain purposes and personal ambitions, it is going to drive us to the canvass and that is what I am saying.
“We are not asking Ayu that he should be zoned out or forced to resign. We are asking for this in the sense of oneness and inclusivity for him to throw in the towel and let us balance the top positions. We are going to campaign in my zone and we want our party to win. If it is not going to affect the party, I won’t bother.”