Jonathan intervenes in PDP’s zoning crisis

President Goodluck Jonathan has intervened in the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party.

In the latest move, the President is said to have directed the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, to assume the chairmanship. This is because the acting Chairman, Dr. Haliru Bello, has been nominated and screened for the post of a minister. Before now, both the South-East and the North-East were fighting to fill the position.

However, at a meeting with members of the National Working Committee of the party at the Presidential Villa on Friday night, the President directed Baraje to assume office immediately pending the party’s convention.

Dr. Babayo, who is Baraje’s deputy, will act as the National Secretary of the party.

A member of the NWC (who preferred anonymity) who was at the meeting which started around 10pm and ended three hours later, said the party’s convention might come up earlier than expected (in November).

With the exit of the chairman and the party’s National Auditor, Chief Samuel Ortom, two other offices are now vacant.

The NWC is made up of 12 members, but it has been depleted to eight. It was learnt that some members of the present NWC are to be appointed as ambassadors and board chairmen.

By the party’s zoning, the next chairman is expected to come from the South-East, while the South-West will produce the national secretary.

Meanwhile, the North-West, where Bello Mohammed, the immediate past chairman of the party hails from, also wants to produce his replacement.

It will be recalled that the South-East governors and the political leaders in the zone had insisted that the zone must fill the office of the chairman.

The Friday meeting was attended by the National Vice-Chairman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh; the governor of Adamawa State, Admiral Murtala Nyako; deputy Senate President, Ike Ekeremadu; and deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, among others.