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2019: PDP to cede House Speaker to South-West

As part of efforts aimed at wooing the South-West, the Peoples Democratic Party has decided to surrender the position of Speaker of House of Representatives to the region if it wins the 2019 presidential election, THE PUNCH learnt on Tuesday night.

The party had earlier ceded the position of Secretary to the Government of the Federation to the same region.

These were part of a political strategy being planned by the party to enable voters from the region to vote for its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and his running mate, Mr Peter Obi.

The current Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), who is also running with President Muhammadu Buhari on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, hails from Ogun State, in South-West.

Investigations by our correspondent showed that the leadership of the PDP and Atiku had disclosed this at their meeting in Dubai, where the presidential candidate is currently holidaying.

Authoritative sources close to the party and its presidential candidate, told our correspondent on condition of anonymity in Abuja on Tuesday, that the party had mapped out strategies that would enable it to beat the ruling APC in the zone in 2019.

A source, who was privy to the arrangement said, “You know that the South-West has the Vice-President in the person of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo now. But apart from that position and some ministers, nothing tangible has come to the region in term of infrastructure.

“The position of Vice-President is almost ceremonial. The South-West will get the position of the SGF as announced by Otunba Gbenga Daniel.

“But apart from this, the zone will also get the position of the Speaker of House of Representatives. We know that we will make it in the zone. This is because all the states in the country have suffered from the present Federal Government. “

Meanwhile, the PDP’s fortunes in the 2019 presidential election has received a boost with women in Kogi State announcing their plan to stage a 1.2 million-man march in support of Atiku.

This is just as the PDP has announced the streamlining of all its presidential support and volunteer groups across the country, to ensure a centralised activity under the supervision of the party and the Presidential Campaign Council.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, who received a delegation of a presidential women support group, Success Initiative Women for Atiku, at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday, stated that the party had opened strategic platforms for all the support groups to directly participate in the campaign.