Amidst   rising tension over zoning of offices for the October 30 convention of the  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), there were indications, yesterday, that party leaders  may have resolved to settle for former Senate president, David Mark, as the next chairman.

Former Kaduna and Niger governors, Ahmed Markafi and Babangida Aliyu, respectively are also strong contenders for the plum job.

This is coming as the party National Executive Committee (NEC) meets tomorrow to consider report of the Zoning Committee headed by Enugu Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

The committee had proposed that the next chairman should come from the North while all the positions currently occupied by the North should go to the South and vice versa.

However, the proposal has generated tension as some PDP leaders, who feel aggrieved with the zoning are kicking.

Daily Sun gathered that immediately the  Zoning Committee’s announcement, some stakeholders reached  out to Mark to consider leading the opposition party.

One of the aides to the former Senate president confirmed to journalists, in Abuja, that he has accepted to join the chairmanship contest.

“Oga is interested,” he stated

It was gathered that with the acceptance of the former Senate president to vie for the chairmanship, party leaders promoting his candidacy has stepped up their bid to mobilise support for him.

A party stalwart said Mark’s promoters  believe the  former Senate president, who is from the North Central, would be a stabilising factor in the run-up to the 2023 general elections. According to him, the promoters believe Mark’s candidature would be accepted across board as “even the (PDP) Governors’ Forum will be ready to work with him.”

Meanwhile, a youth group within the opposition party has accused the PDP governor  of alleged undue interference in the affairs of the party.

    The youths under the aegies of  PDP Youth Coalition and Ambassadors of Good Governance, urged the governors to allow statutory organs of the party perform their functions, unencumbered.

Convener of the group, Obianuju Ogoko, spoke to journalists, in Abuja.

“We wish to also plead with our governors to allow our decision-making organs, namely: BoT and NEC to exercise their statutory authority as decision making organs of the Party.

“We are most grateful to our governors for funding our party but we also plead with them to stop interfering with party processes because they provide funding. We appreciate benevolence that does not compromise our processes.”

Meanwhile, former senate president and PDP leader in Kwara State, Bukola Saraki, has expressed optimism that the unity and peace being experienced in the party in the state would ensure its victory in the next general election.

Speaking with journalists in Ilorin, yesterday, after the PDP local government congress and membership e-registration exercise at his Ajikobi Ward in Ilorin West LGA of the state,  Saraki said PDP was the only united and peaceful party in the state.

He said the party had opened more leadership positions for women and youths and charged party faithful  to spread the message of hope among electorates that the party was ready to provide political leadership in the state come 2023.

“Let us all go and prepare for 2023 elections. It’s all clear that PDP government is what people want. We’re committed and its left for us to go all out and sell the message of hope to our people. The PDP is the only party in the state that is united and peaceful. For progress of the state, it’s the PDP. We are ready to provide leadership come 2023.”

On the e-registration exercise, he described the process as transparent and capable of reducing sharp practices, saying PDP had the most modern data base for members.

He  said the registration process was in line with global best practices.

The high point of the event was the consensus arrangement used to elect local government party officials through affirmation in the congress witnessed by party stalwarts in the state.

SUN