With its national convention barely three weeks away, Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has kept mum on where to zone its presidential ticket.
Arguably the most trending issues in the country’s political space, the PDP, again at its 94th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Thursday, dodged discussion on the issue.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, the party’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the NEC only considered and approved the recommendations of the 44-member committee on zoning of national officers.
The Zoning Committee chaired by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, last week recommended the zoning of the position of the party’s national chairman to the north.
It also recommended that other offices in the national working committee (NWC) be swapped between the northern and southern zones.
“The NEC considered Governor Ugwuanyi’s report on zoning, and the NEC approved the zoning as presented. The positions that are in the south will go to the north and the positions that are in the north will go to the south.
“The convention is still holding, there is no other decision outside what has been taken prior to now. We will hold the national convention on the 30th and 31st,” Mr Ologbondiyan said.
He added that the respective zones in the south and north are expected to “go inward to micro-zone the positions allotted to them before aspirants can know the positions to contest.”
While the party remained mum on zoning of its presidential ticket, former Vice-President and 2019 presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, earlier at the meeting suggested the need for the party to throw the ticket open to all those interested.
“The PDP has the right to determine its rules on how its party should be governed. The people of Nigeria also have the right to determine who governs them.
“Where the president comes from has never been the problem of Nigeria neither will it be the solution. There is no such thing as the president from Southern Nigeria or president from Northern Nigeria. There is only one president from Nigeria, by Nigeria and for Nigeria,” Mr Abubakar, who is believed to be nursing presidential ambition, told the NEC members before the closed door meeting.
The PDP had zoned its presidential ticket to the south in 2015 and to the north in 2019.
While the then President Goodluck Jonathan flew the party’s flag in 2015, Mr Abubakar was the party’s candidate in 2019.
Analysts say the opposition party is reluctant in zoning its 2023 presidential ticket perhaps to know where the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would zone its ticket.
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