Some laders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from the 19 northern states have condemned the presidential ambition of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State saying it is of no political consequence.
The meeting which held on Tuesday in Abuja was called by the leaders of the party in the region to harmonise their position on the zoning arrangement of the party ahead of the 2019 general elections and the PDP national convention.
The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, recently declared his intention to run for the presidential slot in 2019 on the platform of the PDP on September 28.
The controversial governor had criticised the northern politicians in the party for their apathy towards making an open declaration to contest. His declaration elicited a harsh reaction from his party members who layed him for indicating interest in a position the party had already penned down for the northern zone. Ekiti is in the South-west region of the nation.
The chairman of the committee set up to review the zoning formula of the party, Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, had affirmed that the presidential ticket of the party for 2019 was reserved for the North as approved by the National Convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on May 21.
However, the convener of the northern leaders meeting and a former minister of information, Jerry Gana, while welcoming delegates from the three geopolitical zones in the North to the meeting, said there was a need to select the best candidates in accordance with the zoning arrangement of the party.
Mr. Gana said the party must insist on its zoning formula which also ceded the office of the national chairman to the South. He added that the recent declaration by Mr. Fayose to vie for the party’s presidential ticket was of no consequence. He said that the party’s position on the presidency in 2019 ”was clear enough.”
“I want to appeal to you to give to the party the very best in the positions that have been zoned to us. Let us, therefore, give to the party, men and women of impeccable integrity. Whatever the Fayoses of this world may be doing, the party has resolved that the presidential candidate will come from one of the three zones in the North.”
Also speaking on the issue, a former acting national chairman of the party, Bello Haliru, called for sanctions on Mr. Fayose, noting that zoning and rotation of offices have always been given a pride of place in the PDP.
“Zoning and rotation are part of the PDP constitution. We must adhere to them if we are to keep this party alive. There are people who are bent on contesting whether the office is zoned to their place or not. We must discuss with the South so that anybody who goes against zoning can be punished.
“We cannot afford to have people come to the convention and make a fool of themselves and ridicule the party.”
The Chairman of the party’s National Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Makarfi, who spoke before going into the meeting said he was happy that members of the party were ready to make sacrifices.
Mr. Makarfi reiterated the commitment of the party to honour the agreement on zoning.
He also said he was glad the Supreme Court affirmed the powers of the party’s national convention to take decisions on behalf of the party.
Mr. Makarfi said that those interested in elective positions should not be stopped from doing that ”as long as the zoning formula would be respected.”
“The Port Harcourt convention remains valid and one of the decisions taken at that convention was zoning. Micro-zoning does not have binding effect,” he said.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...