From TAIWO AMODU, Abuja
An interim chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) may emerge tonight, contrary to expectations of party chieftains for proper conduct of an election that would involve aspirants from all the six geo-political zones in the country.
A Daily Sun source revealed that it had been an Herculean task to convince the aspirants to agree to a consensus arrangement for the emergence of a new chairman for the advisory organ of the party. Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo resigned from the office last April.
The source who is a member of the board disclosed in confidence that elders of the party were contemplating the option of having a member of the board considered to be of strong character from the South-west to come on board as interim chairman to complete the term of former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
Members of the board from the South-west in the race for the exalted office are former attorney general of the federation in the Second Republic, Chief Richard Akinjide, Chief Shuaib Oyedokun and Yekini Adeojo, who were former deputy national chairman, South-west.
Other contenders from the zone are Chief Tunde Oshunrinde, Chief Bode Olajumoke and Chief Harry Akande By this new arrangement to concede an interim chairman to South-west, leaders of the party were of the opinion that the new option would allow them to elect fresh members, (except the statutory members) for the 98-member board in March this year when the tenure of present members would terminate statutorily.
“Recall that the present members came on board in 2007. If the slot is conceeded to South-west, the party would then have the opportunity to start on a new slate: that is, pick a new chairman and secretary,” Daily Sun source submitted. It is, however, not clear if foot soldiers of President Goodluck Jonathan galvanising support for former works minister, Dr. Tony Anenih, would agree to the option being mulled by party elders.
Other contenders outside the South-west for the office were former vice-president, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, former Senate president, Dr. Ken Nnamani and former chairman of the party, Dr. Okweselizie Nwodo. Also in the race are former national chairman of the party, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, former works minister, Chief Tony Anenih and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu. The list also includes Chief Don Etiebet and Senator Onyeabo Obi, among others.
By the PDP constitution, the BoT comprises of all serving and former presidents, vice president, national chairmen and national secretaries, all serving and former senate presidents and speaker of the House of Representatives, all founding members as identified by the constitution, two women to be selected from the zones. It also includes three members, one of which must be a woman from the six zones and six persons that have contributed to the growth of the party.