The Peoples Democratic Party said on Friday that it had yet to recover from the fight that made former President Olusegun Obasanjo tear his membership card.
It, however, blamed its former National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who it alleged empowered Sen. Buruji Kashamu to spite the former President.
It said that the party had yet to recover from the repercussions of the action of the former chairman.
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Ibrahim Jalo, who stated this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Friday, also warned that the party must not make the same mistake it made in the past by denying the South-West the opportunity of producing the next national chairman of the party.
Jalo said those who misled former President Goodluck Jonathan into jettisoning the zoning system in the party emboldened Buruji, an action which he said worked against the PDP in the South-West.
He said for the party to succeed in 2019, the South-West region must not be treated with levity, adding that there were capable hands in the zone who he said, could lead the party to success during the next general elections.
Jalo said it was wrong for Buruji to be speaking for the members of the party in the zone, which he described as the foundation of civilisation in the country.
He said, “We were deceived into fighting Obasanjo, a well respected man in Nigeria and outside the country.
“It was our former chairman, Tukur, who (did that) because he thought he could cut him to size by empowering Buruji. It was the biggest mistake we ever made in the party.
“Tukur thought he could use Buruji to reduce the influence of Obasanjo, who was fighting that the party must obey the zoning formula in our party’s constitution.
“But people believed that we should go ahead with the impunity as sold by the few powerful men in our party. At the end of the day, Obasanjo had the last laugh while the party found itself in opposition today.”
Jalo said the party would also be treading a dangerous path if Buruji and his group were not checkmated in their determination to deny the South-West the opportunity of producing the next chairman of the party.
He said it was wrong for the current National Chairman of the party, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, to envisage that he could continue in office after the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt on May 21.
He said, “The North has produced seven national chairmen for the party. PDP isn’t meant for the North alone.
“Solomon Lar, Audu Ogbeh, Bernabas Gemade, Ahmadu Ali, Tukur, Adamu Mu’azu and Sheriff are all from the North. Other zones have all produced the national chairman as well.
“But the South-West has yet to produce the national chairman. It is their turn and we must not deny them this opportunity.
“We need to curry the favour of the zone, because that’s where we need votes in 2019. The North is for the PDP and what the people there are expecting is the presidency and not the office of the PDP National Chairman.
“Former Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu started with only one state, which is Lagos but he later took over the entire South-West and now he’s controlling the entire country.”
Jalo listed the likes of Sen. Bode Olajumoke, Chief Bode George, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and Chief Shuaib Oyedokun as possible candidates for the office.