The Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has dropped a hint suggesting the party’s presidential candidate for the 2019 general elections will be from the northern part of the country.
He vowed party leaders would ensure that collective decisions of the party prevailed over individual interests at the end of the day.
Makarfi, in a chat with newsmen at his residence in Kaduna, said PDP would adopt what obtained in previous presidential primaries, where those that did not agree with decisions on zoning were allowed to contest; but at the end of the day, the party had its way.
A committee headed by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, had last year recommended that the presidential flag bearer of the PDP should emerge from the North and the national chairman from the South; a decision that was upheld at the party’s convention in Port Harcourt.
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Makarfi said the decision had not changed, and the party was expecting all its members to abide by it.
“That is the party’s position. Anything to do with the party, it is from the party leadership you will hear it, not from any other person; and that is why I am reaffirming that the position on zoning has not changed. It was the decision of the Port Harcourt convention held in May and the decision of the convention is supreme,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State had since declared that he will definitely contest for the presidency in 2019.
Makarfi said the PDP believes in freedom of expression. “Let me also remind you that when the presidency was zoned to the South in 1999, some people from the North contested and went against it in their own right; but the party went with the decision it took.
“So it is not for an individual to make a case whether to abide by the decision of the party or to go against what the party says, at the end of the day, it is the position the party takes that will prevail.
“I have not talked with anybody on that but that has not altered and will not alter the decision the party has taken; presidency remains zoned to the North and I know for sure that is the position of all our governors, National Assembly members, the BOT and state chapter chairmen of the party,” he said.