The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has zoned the position of national chairman of the party to the South, while its 2019 presidential ticket has been zoned to the North. In the South, the only region which has not produced a PDP chairman since 1999 is the South West, hence the zone is being tipped to clinch the position at the party’s next convention.
There is however no consensus among the gladiators on who is best to emerge from the zone. Currently, the top contenders within the region are Chief Bode George, a former deputy national chairman; Otunba Gbenga Daniel, a former governor of Ogun State; and Jimi Agbaje, the PDP governorship candidate in Lagos for the 2015 elections.
At a caucus meeting of PDP leaders in the South West which was hosted in Lagos last weekend by Daniel, the former Ogun governor exchanged words with George over their ambitions.
Daniel reportedly said that if George runs for the post, the South West risks losing out altogether to the South-south or South-east. He said that a rival from any of those two zones would easily beat George due to the latter’s age and previous controversies. He asked George to step down for someone younger and play a fatherly role.
George pushed back against Daniel, insisting that his advice was not in good faith as he is also an interested party. He vowed to run and rather lose gallantly than chicken out before the race. He said that he would not succumb to any blackmail especially from Daniel. He challenged Daniel to a test of popularity to determine who between them was more popular and acceptable as leader of the party.
George told those at the meeting that what PDP needed was a leader who could take the party to the next level and would ensure that the party wins in the 2019 general election instead of another mediocre.
He, therefore, told Daniel to meet him in the field instead of engaging in an emotional blackmail.