Presidential Race: PDP inaugurates zoning committee
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has inaugurated a 37-man zoning committee to streamline the party interest in a manner that it would emerge victorious in 2023.
National chairman of the party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, speaking at the event, said he is a product of zoning and effective, rancour-free deliberation by leaders of the party, which has left the party stabilised since his emergence.
The committee had Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Honourable Ndudi Elumelu, as chairman and deputy chairman respectively, while Emmanuel Ekpe was named as secretary.
Ayu, at the inauguration, said the party had returned back to the leaders who, in this case, are members of the committee to, once again, undertake the challenge of zoning national political of- fices for the party for general acceptability and unification.
He said, “This committee on zoning is a committee of NEC and it is a tradition in our party to discuss every issue, including fair distribution of offices.
“Before we came into office all of you our leaders put heads together and ensured that we distributed party offices fairly across the country.
“We want to thank you for what you did. Our party came out stronger because you are fair and you did a very transparent job.
“It is our turn now to, as the National Working Committee, acting on behalf of NEC, formally inaugurate this committee.
“You will recall that in the NEC meeting discussions, we had no rancour whatsoever to the extent that one of our governors stood up and said, as sensitive as the issue may be, he’s so pleased and so happy that the PDP families discuss the issue without any bitterness.
“I implore all of you to continue in the same spirit. PDP has a reputation of discussing whatever issues that we have. We talk, we don’t fight, we resolve issues.”
Ayu asked members of the party not to lose sight of the bigger picture, which is to wrest power from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023.
“There should be no rancour whatsoever, we should remain focused on the bigger picture. Because that is what we want. I believe by the time we have the big prize in our hands. We will share it, we will rotate it the way we want.
“PDP has a history of rotating our offices. Anybody who doesn’t get it this time should wait after the tenure of whoever will be our next president. We believe PDP is going to produce the next president once we start this journey this time. We will ensure it goes round. And it will go round with justice, fairness and the interests of Nigeria,” he said.
Three aspirants, former president of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim and governors of Sokoto and Bauchi states, Bala Mohammed and Aminu Tambuwal respectively, had their forms obtained by their supporters.
This brought the number of presidential aspirants in the party to five, with former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, already obtaining theirs.
As part of building unity of purpose among the aspirants, Saraki played host to two presidential aspirants, Tambuwal and Bala Mohammed. Saraki, who addressed the media at his Abuja residence, said the aspirant will be holding their next meeting in Sokoto, after it had held two meetings in Bauchi and Abuja.
He said the objective of the meeting was not to shut down Atiku but to engage with all aspirants across the country to have an acceptable outcome for the party, as he assured there would be an engagement with the former vice president.
He said all the aspirants are eminently qualified to lead Nigeria, however, he said the party can only field one candidate.
He said having noted the challenge, the aspirants would continue to engage and manage the situation for the unity of the party and the good of Nigeria.
He stressed that the decision to reduce the conflict through negotiating a consensus is challenging but “that is the challenge of leadership.”