2023: Fresh anxiety in PDP over presidential zoning

Posted by News Express | 20 March 2022 | 489 times

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There is fresh anxiety in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the zoning of the party’s 2023 presidential ticket as leaders of the party continue to disagree on whether the ticket should be zoned or thrown open.

The PDP commenced the sale of nomination forms for all aspirants seeking to contest the 2023 polls on its platform on March 17. The sale of forms is expected to last till April 1.

However, Sunday Sun reliably gathered that the decision of the PDP to commence the sale of forms for the presidential primary, when it has not decided on the zoning of the presidential ticket is generating concerns amongst party stalwarts.

PDP stalwarts, it was gathered, are apprehensive that the decision of the leadership to commence sales of forms without first addressing the contentious issue of presidential zoning might be a recipe for crisis.

In recent times, there have been controversy on whether or not the PDP should zone its presidential ticket for the next general election or throw it open to all qualified aspirants. 

The issue, Sunday Sun gathered, had generated heated debates at the opposition party’s national caucus and National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings last week.

Regardless,  the NEC, which is the second highest organ of the party, at  the  meeting, in Abuja,  last Wednesday, resolved to set up a 37-man committee  to decide on issue of zoning of elective positions.

The committee, which has its members from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has two weeks to complete its assignment.

Nevertheless, a PDP leader from one of the northern states, who does not want his name in print, told our correspondent that it’s surprising that the party leadership commenced the sale of nomination forms, without first taking a decision or whether or not to zone the presidential ticket of the party.

According to him, “the whole thing is confusing. The party ought to have decided on zoning, before the sale of forms. Now, they want people to begin to buy forms. While the zoning committee will submit its report in two weeks. And by that time, the sale of forms would have closed.

“So, what happens if the committee decides to zone the presidential ticket to a particular part of the country? Would the party refund people who are not from that part of the country, who may have bought the forms? The whole thing is just confusing.”

However, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunabga, when contacted, told Sunday Sun that there is no cause for alarm.

Ologunagba expressed optimism that the zoning committee, which may be inaugurated tomorrow, will address the issue in a manner that would be satisfactory to all the stakeholders.

He added that the PDP as a party is always guided by its rules and the constitution of the country in its activities.

“What we have done, because we are a family that discusses issues with honesty and taking into consideration the situation of the country and where we are, what we did  was to set up a committee to ensure that all interests, all issues relating to zoning are discussed fully.

“And you will recall the membership of this committee is drawn from across the country,  one member representing each  state. I think the committee will do the right thing. And we should wait patiently for them to come back to NEC,” Ologunagba stated.(Sunday Sun)

Source: News Express

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