Claim: Africa Independent Television (AIT) on Thursday, September 30, reported that the PDP has zoned its 2023 presidential ticket to Southern Nigeria.
This claim is false. A committee of the PDP only announced that the party's national chairmanship seat has been zoned to the north. The committee's mandate does not include zoning presidential and vice-presidential tickets.
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, there have been agitations over which region, between the north and the south, should produce President Muhammadu Buhari's successor.
PAY ATTENTION: Join Legit.ng Telegram channel! Never miss important updates!
Various groups in the south, Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, etc., have all been at the forefront of the agitation for the southern presidency.
They all urged the two major political parties in the country, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to ensure their presidential candidates come from the south.
Also recently, Southern Governors Forum unanimously declared that the next president has to come from the south since the north, through the Buhari government, would have spent eight years in the presidency by the end of 2023.
However, the northern governors in their response said the demand of their southern counterparts is against the letters of the constitution.
Nevertheless, the governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, later clarified that the northern governors are not against the southern presidency but only had issues with the approach of the southern governors.
Governor El-Rufai noted that he and some of his colleagues in the north had earlier backed the south to produce Buhari's successor in their individual capacities, saying the power shift will foster national unity and togetherness.
Amid the agitations, Africa Independent Television, a private Nigerian television popularly known as AIT, reported on its website that the PDP has "zoned its 2023 presidential ticket to Southern Nigeria and the National Chairmanship position to the North."
2023 presidency: Fate of Atiku, Saraki, Tambuwal, others hang in balance as PDP NEC is set to decide on zoning
The news media cited the PDP National Zoning Committee as announcing the decision.
A check by Legit.ng using the CrowdTangle resource tool indicates that the article has been shared 13 times on Facebook, including the verified Facebook page of the AIT.
On AIT's Facebook page, the article has been shared 278 times with over 600 comments at the time Legit.ng checked on Friday, October 1.
Has the PDP truly zoned its presidential ticket to the PDP?
To verify this claim, Legit.ng conducted a relevant keywords search on the PDP and the alleged zoning of the presidential ticket.
From the search, Legit.ng discovers that the alleged zoning of the presidential ticket to the south was not reported by any other reputable news media in the country.
What was reported is the zoning of the PDP's national chairmanship seat to the north.
According to the newspaper, the chairman of the zoning committee and Governor of Enugu state, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, announced this on Thursday afternoon, September 30.
Ugwuanyi said National Working Committee (NWC) positions currently being held would be swapped between the north and the south.
The governor also stated that the mandate of his committee DID NOT include zoning of the office President and Vice President.
Premium Times quoted Ugwuanyi as saying:
“The mandate of the committee does not include zoning of offices of the president, vice president, and other executive and legislative offices of the federal republic of Nigeria."
The claim in the AIT's report that the PDP has zoned its 2023 presidential ticket to the south is false.
The PDP National Zoning Committee cited by the AIT does not have the mandate to zone the party's presidential and vice-presidential tickets; its mandate only covers the party's National Working Committee (NWC) positions.
Simply put, the PDP national zoning committee zoned the position of the National Chairman to the north, it DID NOT, and DOES NOT have the mandate, to zone the party's presidential and vice-presidential tickets to the south.
At the time of filing this report, the PDP is yet to zone its presidential ticket to any zone.