From Ndubuisi Orji and Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
THE crises rocking state chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party( PDP) have stalled the conduct of zonal congresses in the South-West, North West and North Central.
The opposition party successfully held its zonal congresses in the South East and North East last Saturday, while the South South congress held on Tuesday.
However, the party National Working Committee (NWC) in a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, extended the tenure of the caretaker committees in the South West, North West and North Central for 30 days, beginning from March 10, due to the inability to hold congresses in the zones.
Daily Sun gathered that the major challenge to peaceful congresses in South West, North West and North Central was the crisis in some states in the zones and the tussle by party leaders over who controls the zonal structures.
It was learnt that no fewer than 12 state chapters of the PDP, including states in the affected zones, are enmeshed in leadership crisis as chieftains battle for control of the party structures in their states ahead of the 2023 elections.
The states include Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Niger, Nasarawa, Plateau, Jigawa, Adamawa, Kano, Cross River and Ebonyi.
In the South West, preparations for the zonal congresses was stalled after some party leaders obtained a court injunction restraining the PDP from going ahead with the exercise, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The South West PDP is currently torn between Oyo governor, Seyi Makinde and former Ekiti governor, Ayodele Fayose.
However, Ologbondiyan told Daily Sun that it was not true that the zonal congresses in the three affected zones were stalled by intra-party crisis.
He said though there were disagreement among some party leaders in the zones, there were ongoing efforts to resolve all contentious issues.
“In the North West, we don’t have any form of crisis. What is left is for the leaders of the zone to decide on the chairman of the zone. Otherwise, every other thing has been perfected. In the North Central, we have contestation for power, which has led to disagreement in Niger, Nasarawa and Plateau. Not withstanding, if the party wants to go on with the congress of the zone, it could still have gone ahead, because we have more than 90 per cent of the constitutional demand.
“But as a party that is well structured and laid upon the foundation of fairness and justice,we want to ensure that every interest is pulled together and carried along. That is why we are waiting to reconcile disagreements in these three states. In the South West, it is the same issue. We have enough delegates that can have the congress. However, we want every interest in the South West to be pulled together and carried along. That is why we have allowed for reconciliation,” Ologbondiyan said.