5th October, 2021
Atiku Support Organisation has kicked against the zoning of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 2023 Presidential to the South.
The group also rejected the recommendation of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi-led Peoples Democratic Party’s zoning committee which zoned the party’s national chairmanship position to the North.
The Atiku group made their position known in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Dr. El Mo Victor, in Makurdi.
The group called on the zoning committee to reverse its decisions in order to ensure fairness and equity.
The statement said “The recent submissions of the PDP Zoning Committee headed by the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, recommending the zoning of the national chairmanship position of the party to the North negates, in all fairness, the entrenched principle of equity, fairness, and justice in the party.
“It’s on record that the North had occupied the chairmanship position of the PDP more than the South. So far, only the Southwest is yet to produce a chairman of the PDP since 1999.
“Therefore, if truly and honestly the principle of fairness and justice as enshrined in the PDP’s constitution should be respected by the leadership of the party, then it is ideal and strategic to zone the chairmanship ticket/seat to the Southwest rather than forcing the position on the North.
“Additionally, we wish to state also that in the interest of equity and fairness, the presidential ticket should be zoned to the North. The People Democratic Party governed Nigeria for 16 years from 1999 – 2015. Out of the three Presidents produced by the PDP, the North produced only one President (Umar Musa Yar’Adua, 2007 – 2010), who before his demise served for only two years instead of eight years, while former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan both from the South spent 14 years in power.
“In line with these unwritten practices of the nation’s political history, we hold firmly and believed that, for the sake of justice and victory for the party in 2023, the presidential tickets of the PDP should be zoned to the North. Zoning the presidential ticket to the South by the PDP would mean the South spending 24 years in office against only two years for the North. This is not the justice, fairness, or equity for which article 7, section 7.2 (C) of the PDP Constitution seeks to promote to ensure the unity and togetherness of the party.”
The group added that the PDP leadership should note that the unwritten national convention of zoning, however well-intended, “if not properly used can create ripples and allow external forces to create confusion in the party”.
“The PDP should learn from history, the events leading to the 2015 presidential elections, which was caused by the disruption and non-adherence to the party principle on the zoning of the presidential ticket, which shortchanged the North.
“We are calling on the National Executive Committee (NEC) members of the party to look critically into the recommendations of the zoning committee and give special consideration to the deprived zones, especially the North East and South East Geo-political zones to produce the presidential standard-bearer of the People’s Democratic Party for the 2023 presidential elections.
“This is in the interest of the party and the great people of Nigeria, who are yearning to enthrone in 2023, a bridge-builder and a leader who understands the economy to grow Nigeria and can harness all the potentials of the Nigerian youth to build a prosperous nation for all of us.”