The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) holds its 94th (emergency) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting today, Thursday, 7th October 2021.
Ahead of the NEC meeting where issues of zoning the party’s tickets are expected to feature prominently, Naija News has gathered that a lot of horsetrading has started among the members to protect their interests in the final outcome.
In announcing the NEC meeting, the PDP itself disclosed that crucial matters will be discussed.
The invitation sent out to NEC members which was signed by the party’s National Secretary, Senator Umaru Ibrahim Tsauri said the meeting will commence by 1pm at the NEC Hall PDP National Headquarters, Wadata Plaza, Abuja.
Tsauri enjoined all NEC members to attend the meeting.
It is understood that during the meeting, the recommendations of the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi Committee on zoning, which was released last Thursday will either be ratified, amended, or rejected by the NEC.
It will be recalled that the committee had zoned the PDP National Chairmanship position to the North, giving rise to speculations that the party’s 2023 presidential ticket will be going to the south and some top Northern politicians will lose the opportunity to seek the PDP ticket.
The zoning issue is said to have given rise to about seven groups within the party with each trying to defend its interests and how the zoning formula won’t affect it negatively.
“We have never been this divided because of the touchy issue of zoning, which we should not have left a committee to decide.
“I can tell you of the emergence of about seven groups in the party over the zoning formula unveiled by Ugwuanyi’s committee. Some leaders have demanded the retention of the status quo with the present NWC conducting the national convention; some are now pushing for either the ratification or rejection of the committee’s report; some are now reading religious politics to the exercise.
“Others have asked us to suspend action on the consideration of the report to douse tension and we have those who are seeking a commitment to throw the presidential ticket of the party open to the North and South before considering Ugwuanyi Committee’s report.
“In fact, the camps of Northern presidential aspirants like ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, ex-Senate President Bukola Saraki, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, ex-Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso and ex-Governor Sule Lamido do not support the zoning of the office of the national chairman of PDP to the North,” a member of the NEC said as quoted by The Nation.
If eventually, the zoning formula as presented by the Ugwuanyi committee scales through, it may be the end of the 2023 presidential ambition of some of the northern politicians at least as far as PDP is concerned.
The southern governors however are understood to be keen for the committee recommendation to stand as it will give a massive boost for their position on a power shift and southern presidency in 2023.
As it stands, the PDP indeed has some crucial decisions to take even as other political parties and Nigerians in general wait expectantly for what may be a pointer towards the party’s 2023 presidential candidate and the zone that will produce the candidate.