Why PDP has no substantive National Chairman...As North schemes for Bello to hold forth till April
Bello Halliru, Acting National Chairman, PDP
More than five weeks after the National chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Okwesileze Nwodo, was forced out, and less than six weeks to the general elections in April, the party is yet to sort out the issue of a substantive national chairman.
There are currently three contending forces. President Goodluck Jonathan and his kitchen cabinet, the south east caucus, and the proponents and advocates of a northern president from the northern bloc of the party.
Bello Halliru stepped in as acting chairman at the convention when a court order stopped Nwodo from parading himself as PDP top gun. He defied the order though, appeared from nowhere to read his speech. This defiance consequently landed him in hot water, coupled with the fact that he had burnt his fingers in Enugu and that President Jonathan was already pissed off with his modus operandi.
Of course, Bello sits at Wadata Plaza as chairman, but Pointblanknews.com learnt he is not in charge. The legendary and infamous Tony Anenih seems to be the de facto leader of the PDP, even though he recently denied this in statement.
Shortly after his exit, Vice chairman Olisa Metu and former aspirant, Nze Chukwu Ozichukwu were touted as possible replacements. But the south east caucus did not like Metu who played his slimy game like Nwodo, and was not in bed with Ozichukwu whom they still see as Ex President Olusegun Obasanjo's 'boy'. This factor took the wind of his sail when he ran against Nwodo.
Pointblanknews.com learnt that as elections approach, the PDP is still at cross roads. Jonathan's men desire a chairman they could trust and who would not drive his kinsmen crazy with unnecessary involvements and high handedness at state level, the Bello people want him to remain as chairman, since Jonathan, a southerner knocked out their own, Atiku, while the south east caucus led by the Governors, and National Assembly members, even though cannot agree on who to back, want the PDP to make another Igbo a substantive party boss before April.
As it stands there are about six who are angling to be PDP top shot: Former Senate President< Pius Anyim, former 3rd Republic Speaker, Agunwa Anekwe, former Health and Education minister, Ihechukwu Madubuike, former foreign affairs minister, Ojo Maduekwe , Ozichukwu and Metu.
It was learnt that shortly after Nwodo's exit, there were plans for former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme to head a committee that would pick a competent replacement. But this arrangement ran into troubled waters as several actors within the south east caucus kicked against the arrangement.
Said a source” the caucus is mounting pressure on the President and the PDP to honor the agreement of making an Igbo man substantive chairman before April. But while the President is still looking at whom he can trust among the pack, the caucus is yet to agree on who to settle for. The PDP has to do something now because the south east and the south south are the two guarantees for a block vote for President Jonathan. “
Another source said “ Nwodo's sin was not enough to kick him out, but some forces within jonathan's camp were very uncomfortable with him, the way he was taking on Governor Sylva Chime, etc, at the same time they fell for the northern sly move. They made him understand Nwodo has to go, but the plot was to have a northerner in place. So when Bello came in, the strategy changed. They are now telling him to allow Bello carry on till after elections since his emergence made a mess of the whole zoning arrangement.”