No fewer than six Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains are contesting the position of the National Vice Chairman (Southwest).
The position will be vacant next month after the current occupant, Taofeek Arapaja, is inaugurated as Deputy Chairman (South).
Arapaja, former deputy governor and ambassador, who hails from Oyo state had defeated his rival from Ondo state, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, who was sponsored by former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose during the zonal congress in Osogbo, Osun state.
Party sources said Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, a Southwest PDP leader and Arapaja’s benefactor, is expected to play a dominant role in the selection of a new vice chairman.
Although the position is expected to be zoned to Osun; chieftains from other states are said to be eyeing the slot.
Sources said the National Vice Chairman (Southwest) aspirants include Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary; Diran Odeyemi, Olafeso, Deji Doherty from Lagos, Ganiyu Olaoluwa, Hon. Adagunodo and Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi.
A party source said, “It is not possible for the vice chairman to be retained in Oyo because Arapaja is from Oyo. This will amount to monopolisation of party power and privileges.”
He added, “There are three zones in the Southwest- Lagos/Ogun, Oyo/Osun and Ondo/Ekiti. Party offices are shared according to the three zones.
“But, Lagos now has Deputy National Secretary. Ogun has Deputy National Legal Adviser. Ondo has Publicity Secretary. Before this time, Ondo/Ekiti had the bulk of positions.
“I think the consensus will be that Osun should produce the next national vice chairman (Southwest)”, he concluded.