A group under the Peoples Democratic Party, which identified itself as PDP National Leaders Forum, has asked the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party to reject recommendations made by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi-led zoning committee.
The group, in a statement titled, “Reject proposal on zoning to save PDP; leaders’ forum tells NEC,” in Abuja on Tuesday, claimed that even the composition of the Zoning Committee was flawed from the very beginning.
It cited an example with Benue State which has five representatives while Osun has no single representative, disclosing that when this observation was raised at the meeting, “a certain governor from the South-South bullied everybody to ignore something as fundamental as that”.
Naija News had reported the PDP convention zoning committee as zoning the party’s national chairmanship position to the North, with the Chairman of the committee and Enugu Governor stating that the National Working Committee positions currently held would be swapped between the North and the South.
Governor Ugwuanyi further disclosed that the mandate of the zoning committee does not include taking any decision on which zone gets the presidential and vice-presidential tickets of the party.
In its reaction to this development, PDP National Leaders Forum alleged that some members of the committee used the opportunity to serve on the committee to oil their political schemes to the detriment of the party.
While calling on the party to reject the committee’s report, the forum through its Convener, Olusola Salam, said, “The report is self-serving, ridiculous and embarrassing because the PDP NEC empowered and mandated the committee to recommend zoning of party offices.
“The normal practice is that the report must first be laid before the NEC for consideration and the party will then approve and announce final ratification just like the Governor Bala-led fact-finding committee on the 2019 presidential election.
“Its report was laid before the NEC and approved. But in this case, the Governors and zoning committee acted in bad faith and if care is not taken the party will pay dearly for it in 2023.”
Another area of objection which the group cited as a reason for rejecting the report is what it described as the unfair treatment of the south in the proposed zoning arrangement.
Salam, who is an Ogun State Chieftain of the PDP, continued, “Must we punish the south alongside the outgoing chairman? Why is the committee in a hurry to throw away the baby with the bathwater?
“For the avoidance of doubt, there have been two zoning arrangements in the history of the PDP: one in 2007 and the other in 2017 which was to lapse in 2025. This arrangement gave the south the privilege to produce the national chairman of the party until 2025.
“If there were to be any zoning, it should be amongst the three zones of the south and, in that case, the South-West that has never attained the position of the PDP National Chairman is more deserving of the position.
“This is even more so that the next two governorship elections before the 2023 general election will be in Osun and Ekiti. Thus, what will the PDP take to the Southwest to enable the zone to give our party a deserving victory in those two crucial elections?” the forum asked.
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