- Earlier, a 37-man committee was set up to come up with an acceptable position that would keep the PDP and its bigwigs united regardless of its stand on zoning
- In a recent move, the opposition party has concluded its arrangement regarding zoning and this has generated reactions in the polity
- The Igbo socio-cultural group, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Pan-Niger Delta Forum and the Middle Belt Forum have reacted angrily to the PDP for zoning its presidency to the northern region ahead of 2023
The zoning committee of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), contrary to the expectation of its southern members, has recommended an open race for the party’s 2023 presidential ticket.
The party’s 37-person zoning committee, which took the decision at the Benue State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, on Tuesday, April 5, cited ‘exigency of time’ for its recommendation.
The Punch reports that the committee based its recommendation on the high voter turnout in the North and the party’s determination to return to power.
But the recommendation of the committee generated angry reactions from organisations such as the Igbo socio-cultural group, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Pan-Niger Delta Forum and the Middle Belt Forum with some of them saying it would affect the chances of the PDP in the 2023 polls.
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PANDEF, in its reaction, expressed dismay at the decision of the zoning committee of the PDP.
The forum in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Ken Robinson, said the decision arrived at by the Governor Samuel Ortom-led committee would have consequences.
Robinson alleged that the committee was playing out a script, saying its decision was, however, not surprising, insisting that for fairness, equity and justice, the next president in 2023 should come from the South-South.
“It is an awful decision and there will be consequences. But we are not utterly surprised at the development."
Ohanaeze Knocks PDP
Ohanaeze Ndigbo described the recommendation of the committee as the height of the hypocrisy of politicians.
It advised presidential aspirants from the South-East not to be demoralised instead should continue in the struggle until the result is achieved.
PDP will lose if northerner emerges – MBF
On his part, the President of Middle Belt Forum, Dr Pogu Bitrus, insisted that a southern presidency in 2023 was not negotiable.
2023: Saraki's campaign DG advises PDP on best approach to select presidential candidate
The director-general of the Saraki Campaign Council has urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to allow an open playing field for all the party's 2023 presidential aspirants.
Osaro Onaiwu said Nigeria as a country has never benefitted from the zoning of candidacy since the return of democracy in 1999.
According to Onaiwu, narrowing the party's presidential candidate to a particular zone would hinder the emergence of the best candidate that could help the PDP win the presidency.
2023 presidency: Saraki, Tambuwal, Bala Mohammed still in the race, DG campaign council says
This was disclosed by the director-general of the Saraki Campaign Council on Wednesday, March 30.
Onaiwu said that some mischievous individuals planted the reports out of their desperation to clinch the presidential ticket in a deceitful manner.