S/West PDP reconciliation committee at crossroads over consensus chairmanship candidate

The six-man Reconciliation Committee set up, on Monday, by South-West Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders over the chairmanship zoned to the South-West, may have met a brick wall.

Some members of the body, which has a former national vice chairman of the party, Alhaji Yekinni Adeojo, as chairman, met in Ibadan on Tuesday, but could not prevail on any of the four contenders to step down.

The contestants are Chief Olabode George, Professor Tunde Adeniran, Professor Taoheed Adedoja and Mr Jimi Agbaje. Each of them has obtained nomination forms for the position zoned to the South-West.

The decision of the zonal leaders to rezone the position to Lagos and Ogun states is eliciting ripples within the party.

Part of the mandate of the Reconciliation Committee, which comprises other members like Senator Kofo Akerele-Bucknor and  Dr Olu Alabi was to collaborate with the contestants to produce a consensus candidate of the zone ahead of  the rescheduled national convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, next Wednesday.

It was learnt that the members of the committee were individually assigned to speak with the contestants on the possibility of a mutual agreement to have one of them as sole  candidate.

For instance, Senator Bucknor Akerele was reportedly asked to talk to Agbaje to reconsider his stand to contest, but he was said to have declared that such decision was beyond him but that of all the PDP forces that put pressure on him to contest.

Professor Adeniran could not be convinced by Senator Alabi, to back down, claiming to have obtained nomination form to prove he was serious about his aspiration.

Ironically, the committee is expected to  submit its report today, based on the 72-hour deadline given to it by the South-West leaders on Monday.

Insiders said it was apparent that the prospective of a consensus candidate is remote, as according to a source close to the committee, the ‘work of the committee has reached a dead end.”

Similarly, a frantic effort by the PDP to reconcile the two factions in Osun State suffered a setback as they refused to shift grounds.

Nigerian Tribune learnt that a former Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, was in the state to broker peace between the factions, but they could not reach a compromise after about six-hour meeting held at a popular hotel in Osogbo, the state capital.