Southern governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have rejected the report of the 37-man committee that recommended that the presidential ticket of the main opposition party should be thrown open to all the 14 presidential aspirants that purchased the presidential nomination form.
This is coming as the four PDP presidential aspirants from the South-east yesterday resolved to work together for the emergence of the party’s candidate in the 2023 presidential election from the zone.
The 37-man PDP committee headed by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State had last week recommended to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party that the presidential ticket should be thrown open to all the geopolitical zones.
But rising from a mèeting held late Friday night, the southern governors of the party led by their chairman, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State insisted on the common position adopted by the 17 southern governors that the presidential candidates of all the political parties should come from the South.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Ikpeazu said: “Our position is that first, we are committed to the unity of our party and we have worked hard to make sure that this party remains strong and viable vehicle to rescue Nigeria come 2023.
“Be that as it may, we want to draw your attention to the fact that we have agreed as Southern Governors in Lagos and also in Delta that this party has to respect the zoning principle as enshrined in our Constitution, and to that effect, we feel that the best thing to do is zone the presidency to the South, and we stand on that position.
“We have not seen any reason to change our position, because the party was founded on the basis of equity and justice. And we also think that equity and justice is an important pillar that will ultimately stabilise our politics towards our journey in rescuing Nigeria. This is our position and that is why we have met today.”
Fielding questions from reporters, the Abia State governor wondered why some people would think that zoning would not give PDP victory in 2023 presidential election.
Reacting to reports that the zoning committee had recommended that the presidential ticket open, Ikpeazu, who stated that the governors would not rely on speculations, told journalists that: “Let me tell you something; if you want to take a position of policy, you don’t look at problems in their face and take decision. You take a decision and remain firm on that decision. We think what this country is lacking today is our ability to dispense equity and justice. It may be difficult, it may a bitter pill but we need to stand with the truth.”
He reiterated the position of the 17 southern governors that the presidency should be zoned to the South for equity, fairness and justice.
Other governors that attended the meeting include: Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.
Governors Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and Godwin Obseki of Edo State were absent at the meeting that took place at the Akwa Ibom State Government House.
The aspirants that have purchased the PDP presidential forms are former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Wike; former President of the Senate, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State; Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State; Sokoto State, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal; former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State; Mr. Mohammed Hayatudeen and Mr. Dele Momodu. Others are a United States-based medical doctor, Nwachukwu Anakwenze; a pharmacist, Sam Ohuabunwa and a politician from Imo State, Mrs. Oliver Tareila Diana.
South-east Presidential Aspirants Unite, Demand Ticket for Zone
Meanwhile, the four PDP presidential aspirants from the South-east have resolved to work together for the emergence of the PDP candidate in the 2023 presidential election from the zone.
The presidential aspirants include: Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Peter Obi, Sam Ohuabunwa and Nwachukwu Anakwenze.
Rising from a meeting that lasted for over three hours in Abuja, yesterday, the aspirants also resolved to ensure that the presidential candidate of the main opposition party emerges from the zone.
In a communique read by Anyim, the aspirants promised to consult with other zones in the spirit of fairness and equity
“In doing so it is important to note that we have always supported other zones and we now expect them to reciprocate,” said the communiqué.
Anyim, who also fielded questions from reporters, stated that the aspirants would work with the governors from the South-east in the interest of the nation, and the South-east.
Reacting to the resolution of the southern PDP governors, Anyim said: “Well if our position tallies with that of the southern governors, good luck. But we are taking this position in the interest of national unity, in the interest of PDP, and in fact in line with PDP Constitution. We believe that the PDP’s Constitution favours what we are doing and we have to boldly step out with this decision.”
Source: Thisday news