The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has opted to throw the contest for its presidential ticket open rather than zone it to a particular region of the country.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, disclosed this at the end of the PDP’s NEC meeting on Wednesday May 11, 2022.
According to the party chairman, the decision to throw open the ticket he said, was in line with the recommendation made by the party’s zoning committee.
The party’s decision on zoning comes amid calls and expectations that it would zone the presidential ticket to the south – ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The calls for zoning is powered by some southern leaders who believe it is the turn for the South to produce the next president having had a northern president rule for the past eight years and the late Musa Yar’ Adua as the party’s last candidate.
It is said that perhaps the reasons why the party had received more presidential aspirants from the south than the northern region. A PDP stalwart in March 2022 was quoted to have said “PDP will lose 2023 election if it doesn’t respect zoning.
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Some of the presidential aspirants of the party from the south are Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike; former Abia state governor, Peter Obi, former governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose; former Senate president, Ayim Pius Ayim, Ovation Publisher, Dele Momodu; Samuel Ohuabunwa; Nwachukwu Anakwenze; Emmanuel Udom, among others.
While there is another group dubbed the anti-zoning group, mostly northern leaders, who want the ticket thrown open because they believe they stand a chance of winning the primaries and eventually the election, and because in the last 16 year-rule of the PDP, two southern presidents – Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, ruled for the most part of it.
The chairman statement reads party: “After a very extensive deliberation NEC aligned with the recommendation of the PDP National Zoning Committee that the Presidential Election should now be left open. The party should also work towards consensus candidate where possible.
“NEC noted the recommendation of the Zoning Committee that in the interest of justice and fair play, thepParty should take decision on Zoning timeously so as to prevent complications to the process,” he said.
Mr Ologunagba further said the party will conduct of the Presidential Primary (Special National Convention) to elect the party’s presidential candidate on Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29, 2022 in Abuja.
The National Convention Organising Committee will be headed by former Senate President, David Mark, with Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as Deputy Chairman and Ibrahim Shema as Secretary.
While the decision of the the party’s NEC obviously favours the northern anti-zoning group, the zoning agitators are expected to react to this development. Intel Region will keep you updated as the development unfolds.
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