The Ebonyi State House of Assembly has given the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seven days to zone the 2023 Presidential ticket to the South-east.
The Speaker of the House, Francis Nwifuru, handed down the ultimatum in Abakaliki, the state capital, on Monday.
At the briefing were 22 members of the 24 members of the house.
Only the Deputy Speaker, Odefa Obasi and a lawmaker, Franca Okpo, were absent at the meeting.
The lawmakers also warned the party not to remove the national chairman, Uche Secondus.
According to them, it is is customary for the national chairman and the president to come from the same geopolitical zone hence the need for the Secondus who is from the South to remain chairman of the party.
“The unity of our beloved country, Nigeria, has always been hinged on the principles of equity, justice and fairness. It is on such conventional wisdom that the country has striven to grow and develop equally across all her geopolitical zones,” they said.
“In furtherance of the above principles, we, the Honourable Members of the sixth (6th) Ebonyi State House of Assembly, wish to draw the attention of our great Party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to the rightful yearning of our industrious and peace-loving people of the South East Nigeria, that the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 29th May, 2023, be zoned to the South East.”
The lawmakers noted that since the inception of this democracy, the zone has paid its dues having worked assiduously and massively voted for all the presidential candidates of our great party – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“It is on record that since the inception of democracy in this country, from 1999 till date, the five (5) States of the South East have always delivered the presidential candidates of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 100 per cent”, they said.
They argued that it is only appropriate in the spirit of democracy, equity, justice and fairness that the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2023, be zoned to the South-east.
The South-east, they noted, has presidential personalities, people who are globally renowned, reliable, acceptable, tested and trusted to the position; having discharged their duties efficiently and effectively in the positions held before now.
“Persons like Peter Obi (Former PDP Vice Presidential Candidate in the 2019 elections and former Governor of Anambra State), Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim (former Senate President and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation), Sen. Ike Ekweremmadu (former 3-time Deputy President of the Senate), Sen. Theodore Orji (former Governor of Abia State), Achike Udenwa (former governor of Imo State), and a host of others.
“So we have qualified people who are very much available for this position. We did not mention our Governors not because they are not qualified but these highly qualified persons are not holding positions currently and there are other eminent qualified Igbo leaders as well who are trusted, competent, capable and reliable.
“On this note, we are giving our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 7 days ultimatum to convocate the National Executive Committee of the party and zone the position of the Presidency to the South East Nigeria, especially as INEC has officially announced the date of the presidential elections,” they declared.
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The lawmakers said this will in no minimal measure further develop and unite our dear country.
“Equally, the party should not contemplate to remove the National Chairman of the Party, Prince Uche Secondus as it is customary that the zone (South) from where the National Chairman comes from produces the Presidential Candidate of the Party,” the further demanded.
They warned that “if this advise is not adhered to, it will further divide and destabilise the party along sectional and regional lines.”
The lawmakers vowed that failure to adhere to these kind requests will cost the party heavily adding that “the Honourable Members of the 6th Ebonyi State House of Assembly will leave no stone unturned in taking decisive actions to ensure that traditions and dividends of democracy are respected in our party.”