The 37-member zoning committee, which was inaugurated in March, cited the exigency of time as its reason for throwing open the ticket to all interested aspirants.
The zoning committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has recommended that the presidential ticket of the party in the 2023 elections be thrown open to all zones of the country, Punch newspaper is reporting.
DCO Global News
Published on April 6, 2022
By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka
The decision to throw open the ticket was part of the resolutions it reportedly Madeline during its meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
If the recommendation is adopted by the National Executive Committee (NEC), aspirants from any of the six geopolitical zones could run for any elective position, including the presidency.
This is against the calls and expectations that the party should zone the presidential ticket to the South – ahead of the 2023 general election.
The panel, chaired by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, reportedly cited the exigency of time as its reason for throwing open the ticket to all interested aspirants.
While the committee noted that zoning in the party is affirmed, it said the “ticket is thrown open this time around due to exigency of time.”
“Our party is encouraged to always make the issue of zoning very clear at least six months before sales of forms. Our party should commend the efforts of some of our contestants on the issue of consensus candidacy; the efforts should be seen to a peaceful and logical conclusion.”
Although he did not mention it when he addressed journalists after the meeting on Tuesday, Mr Ortom said they have unanimously adopted a position that will be sent to the National Executive Committee of the party.
“The good news for teaming supporters of the PDP and Nigerians is that we have resolved and every one of us-the 37 members, unanimously adopted the position that we are going to present to NEC.”
The resolutions by the panel will, hopefully, put to rest, controversies surrounding the zoning principle ahead of next year’s polls.
The party had in March inaugurated the committee with the aim of recommending a zoning formula for the various elective offices ahead of next year’s polls.
The discord in the party – in the past weeks – over zoning stands between two groups – the pro-zoning group and the anti-zoning group
The first is mostly made up of 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.
The anti-zoning group is mostly northern leaders who want the ticket thrown open because they believe they stand a chance of winning the primaries and eventually the election. They also say their stance is 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.
Some members of the panel who support an open ticket have, however, argued that aspirants should be allowed to either test their strength and popularity at the party’s primary or adopt a consensus candidate.
While inaugurating the committee on March 24, the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, said the party has a zoning tradition that it will stick to.
He advised those who may not benefit from the zoning formula to be adopted for the 2023 polls to wait for another time.
Array of aspirants
Although the PDP has not officially made its decision on the zoning of the presidential ticket known, several members of the party have already indicated their intention to contest for the nation’s highest political office on its platform.
They include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State.
Others are former Governors Peter Obi of Anambra State, Ayo Fsyose of Ekiti State, former Senate President Pius Anyim and Bukola Saraki.
Also in the race are the Publisher of Ovation magazine, Dele Momodu, renowned pharmacist Sam Ohuabunwa and former Chairman/CEO of FSB International Bank PLC, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen.
By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka
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