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PDP zoning deadlocked

Posted by By CHIDI OBINECHE on 2007/05/16 | Views: 671 |

PDP zoning deadlocked


The zoning of prime positions in the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly embarked upon by the leaders of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) may have been deadlocked.

• South-west, South-east at each other’s jugular

The zoning of prime positions in the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly embarked upon by the leaders of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) may have been deadlocked.

This followed intense pressure from, and the uncompromising stance of leaders of the party from the South-east and South-west geo-political zones over the Speakership of the House of Representatives in the incoming dispensation. With a consensus that the Senate Presidency should go to the North-central, and deputy from the South-west, that of the Speaker of the House has become a bone in the throat of the party.
Last minute efforts by South-west leaders nearly put a nail in the coffin for the South-east and swung the pendulum back and forth.

The South-west leaders had argued that not having any prime government position in the upcoming arrangement would put the zone in the back burner and render it irrelevant.
They canvassed to be given the speakership slot on “compensatory basis,” while the South-east should produce the chairman of the party. The argument was set to sail, until the South-east, after a crucial meeting in Abuja over the weekend, reorganised and launched a major offensive that stalled the moves to give vent to the earlier arrangement.

They argued that the zoning arrangement as is the tradition of the party in the last eight years should be strictly restricted to government positions, i.e. the executive and legislative arms.

A source from the meeting said, “the positions that are being contested for should be government and not party. As usual, when the time comes, the party positions should also be zoned in line with the tradition of the party. The two, i.e. government and party positions, should not be mixed together.

What we are saying is that the South-east, as a major bloc, should take the speaker’s seat. The South-west produced the president of the country and ruled for eight years. Taking the Speaker’s seat now and consigning the South-east to nothing, is sheer injustice. We will resist it.”

To assuage the South-east, there are on-going moves to zone the slot of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to the zone. There has not been any immediate reaction from the zone on the proposal, but feelers by Daily Sun indicate that it may also be rejected.

In the new party Constitution, the leaders of the zone argued that the South-west is as good as having already landed the all-powerful seat of Chairman of the Board of Trustees, (BOT), which President Olusegun Obasanjo will assume from May 29, as the immediate past president of the nation.

With the supervising role of the BOT chairman, the party’s chairman will be largely ceremonial and insignificant, as all officers will report to the former. The zone’s leaders are at a loss as to why an insignificant and “powerless” position of chairman is being dangled before the South-east, while the South-west will take the seat of BOT chairman and Deputy Senate President.

Some eggheads of the party are also considering a zoning pattern along the lines of religion.
In the new thinking since the president is a Muslim, his vice a Christian, and the favoured and likely Senate President, a Christian, then the Speaker should be a Muslim for balance and harmony.

Those pushing for the religious zoning insists that since in the outgoing government, the President is a Christian, his deputy, a Muslim, all the Senate Presidents (5) are Christians and all the Speakers (3) of the House are Muslims, the same pattern should be followed in the new dispensation.

With the ensuing deadlock, leaders of the two zones have gone back to the trenches to dig up more superior arguments to claim the seat. The buck, however, stops on Obasanjo’s table, who as at press time, was yet to make up his mind on the issue.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.