There are indications that the Peoples Democratic Party may adopt a fresh zoning formula if the truce being worked out between the two factional groups within the party eventually works out. The re-zoning of the national offices is expected to be done to reflect the agreement being worked out by the two main factions, whose activities have polarised the party since it lost the 2015 general elections.
The National Caretaker Committee of the party led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi had a meeting with the factional National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff in Abuja on Tuesday. After the meeting, both men signed a press statement, saying that a joint committee would carry out what they called a holistic reconciliation of all segments of the party across the country and in Diaspora.
Makarfi was represented by the Secretary of the caretaker committee, Senator Ben Obi while Sheriff was represented by Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, at the briefing where the decision was announced. However, our correspondent learnt on Wednesday in Abuja, that the two parties had started consulting among their supporters on how to come up with a workable agreement that would be acceptable to the two factions.
It was also gathered that the Sheriff faction was already planning that the zoning of national offices be looked into, to allow the factions present candidates for some offices. The party during the last botched national convention had zoned the office of the national chairman to the South-West. It also zoned the office of the national vice-chairman to the North and the South respectively.
Offices reserved to the North, were the deputy national chairman, national secretary, national financial secretary, national publicity secretary, national auditor and the national woman leader. A member of the Sheriff faction, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the group would consult before making its demands known.
But he said that most of its demand were already laid before the party and were rejected by the caretaker committee and the reconciliation committee raised by the Board of Trustees. It was also gathered that Sheriff might insist that he must preside over the proposed national convention and also appoint the chairman of the convention committee and majority of its members. The source said:
“The zoning will have to be looked into. We can’t fight and at the end of the day we won’t get offices for our gallant members. Then, we will also look at the composition of the national convention committee. We must produce the chairman and some members of the convention committee.”
However, the spokesperson for the Makarfi group, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said in a text message to our correspondent that he was not in a position to speak when our correspondent contacted him.