PDP stalwart Segun Sowunmi is certain of victory in the event of a head-to-head battle with former Senate President Bukola Saraki for the office of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, saying, “I’ll beat him”.
Sowunmi made the assertion during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday.
Asked how he would fare against Saraki, who like him has been touted as a candidate for the top PDP office, the former Ogun State governorship aspirant said, “I’ll beat him. I’ll ask him what he did in 2014/2015, when they destabilised the party. I’ll beat him, I’m sure of that.”
Sowunmi averred that the emergence of Saraki, a Kwara State native, would amount to another party chairman from the North Central geopolitical zone, which he believed was unfair to the South-West region.
The past PDP chairmen include Solomon Lar (1998-1999), Barnabas Gemade (1999-2001), Audu Ogbeh (2001-2005), Ahmadu Ali (2005-2008), Vincent Ogbulafor (2008 – 2010), Okwesileze Nwodo (2010), and Haliru Mohammed (2010).
The others are Kawu Baraje (2011-2014), Bamanga Tukur (2012-2014), Adamu Mu’azu (2014-2015), Ali Modu Sheriff (2015-2016), Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi (2015-2016), Uche Secondus (2017-2021), and lyorchia Ayu (2021-2023).
Umar Damagum currently serves as the acting PDP National Chairman, having taken office upon Ayu’s removal in March.
Of the 15 chairmen to date, there have been six from the North Central region: Lar, Gemade, Ogbeh, Ali, Baraje, and Ayu.
Acting PDP National Chairman Umar Damagum speaks at the party’s retreat for elected officials held in Bauchi State on Saturday, June 3, 2023
“If North Central thinks that it is their inalienable right to be chairman all the time, then those of us in the South-West can tell them, ‘No, we don’t agree,’” he said.
“Some of us have put in a lot more than you guys have put in, and we want the party chairman to be in the South-West, and if young people want me to be, then we’ll meet ourselves in the field.”
Sowunmi argued that his position remains that stability is more important than anything else.
“When you have the situation that we have on hand now, we must be very measured, we must be very careful, and we must not run into that consistent argument of thinking that our issue is removing the person in charge,” he said.
“We had the same conversation with Ali Modu Sherriff, then we ran into Makarfi, then we ran into Secondus, then we ran into Ayu. Now, we’re with Damagun. We cannot be a political party that keeps saying all the time that nobody is good enough to lead us.”
Asked if he had the backing of the party’s 2023 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, the PDP stalwart maintained that Atiku was not the kind of person who liked to destabilise things.