Saturday May 21, 2022 12:29 AM

2023: PDP may not embrace zoning policy- Source

There were indications that the Peoples Democratic Party’s 37-man panel on zoning has opted to throw the presidential ticket for the 2023 race open.

The implication is that if the recommendation is approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC), all zones will be free to bid for the ticket

According to a top source, the zoning of the presidential ticket was difficult for Ortom’s panel to decide because the party commenced the sale of nomination forms before setting up a zoning committee.

This made it tricky for the committee to be decisive on which zone will produce the presidential candidate, The Nation reports.

A top source said: “Ortom’s committee has recommended that the presidential ticket should be thrown open because its hands were tied and it could not abort an exercise which was already midway.

“We knew this will be the outcome. The committee was dead on arrival because the party was already selling nomination forms before setting up the committee. Presidential aspirants from the North and South had already obtained forms.

“It has legal implications if you ask aspirants who have bought forms to step down or forego their rights to contest.

“The panel has shifted the final decision on its report to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party which may meet before the Easter break. As you know, NEC itself is divided.”

The camps of ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, ex-Senate President Bukola Saraki, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Governor Bala Mohammed were upbeat.

“Following the development from Ortom’s committee, Northern presidential aspirants were in a frenzy because it has brightened their chances of contesting the presidential primaries.

“If the Northern aspirants can agree on a consensus candidate among themselves, the nominee will now slug it out with the presidential aspirants from the South.

“Otherwise, all the presidential aspirants will go to the National Convention to struggle for PDP Presidential ticket.”

Meanwhile, it was gathered that the shuttle to Minna by Governor Nyesom Wike and three others did not achieve much because ex-President Ibrahim Babangida and a former Head of State, Gen. Abubakar Abulsalami were non-committal on the demand of the governors to support power shift to the South.

Another top source added: “The two former leaders avoided making a commitment to the governors. All they preached was about the need for peace, one Nigeria and the best for this country.

“The governors were a bit withdrawn that there was no categorical statement on whether power should remain in the North or shift to the South.

“They had gone to Minna with high expectations but the shuttle actually backfired.”

Other governors in the delegation were Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).

The pro-consensus aspirants yesterday received the endorsement of Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde.

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