CONFUSION OVER OGBULAFOR'S RESIGNATION
Chief Vincent Ogbulafor
Palpable tension enveloped the national secretariat of the PDP yesterday as news filtered in that the embattled national chairman of the party, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor had tendered his resignation letter.
The beleaguered national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor who is facing graft allegations before an Abuja High Court has been under intense pressure to throw in the towel as charges against him have been viewed as a moral burden on the party.
The PDP governors on Wednesday night traded off the man they have been shielding from President Goodluck Jonathan to have one of them, Namadi Sambo, the Kaduna State governor to emerge as Vice President to Jonathan.
Ogbulafor did not come to Wadata Plaza, the party national secretariat, Thursday, but his special adviser on media, Chijioke Adindu was sighted, but declined comments.
Both national secretary of the party, Alhaji Kawu Baraje and the national legal adviser Chief Olusola Oke could not confirm the development, as they told journalists that they were not aware of the resignation of the embattled national chairman.
Baraje told newsmen that Ogbulafor was still in consultation with the South – east governors who had asked the embattled national chairman to resign before Wednesday enlarged forum of PDP governors at Asokoro.
'He hasn't resigned. He cannot resign without you [newsmen] hearing it. I cannot confirm that to you now. All I can tell you is that he is in consultations with governors from his zone. The outcome will tell us whether he has resigned or not. “
The party national secretary denied that the graft charge the embattled chairman is facing is a moral burden on the PDP.
“ He hasn't been convicted. The court process is still on. The only snag is that the governors from the zone where the national chairman comes from asked him to resign, even when the court process is still on“, Baraje told journalists.
Saturday Sun however reliably gathered that a group, G-84 is smarting to use the exit of Vincent Ogbulafor as national chairman to alter the PDP zoning arrangement.
Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo had told a foreign media, the Voice Of America while in the United States recently, that the ruling party never had an understanding to zone elective offices among the geo political zones in the country.
The G-84, a Saturday Sun source revealed is canvassing that the elective offices be thrown open to give room to merit. Under the PDP constitution, in the event of the resignation of the party national chairman, he hands over to his deputy who will then present it to the party NEC.
The incumbent deputy national chairman of the PDP, Dr Mohammed Haliru Bello is from, Kebbi State in the North- west of Nigeria.
The G-84, a group made up substantially of PDP National Executive Council members are banking on the emergence of Mohammed Bello, the deputy national chairman, as the chairman in the event of Ogbulafor`s exit to proclaim that the party zoning arrangement of PDP has not been fundamentally altered, while still maintaining that zoning should be jettisoned.
The group wants an arrangement that would see Dr Mohammed Haliru Bello preside over the party, pending a national convention that would throw up new leaders at Wadata Plaza
Under the eight years presidency of former president Olusegun Obasanjo from South- west , the party had Solomon Lar, Barnabas Gemade, Audu Ogbeh and Ahmadu Ali, all of northern extraction as national chairman of the party.
Vincent Ogbulafor emerged as consensus candidate under the late President Umaru Yar' Adua while the national secretary of the party went to the incumbent Kawu Baraje from Kwara State, the North- central geo political zone.