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OPINION: PDP and fallacy of zoning



Nobody ever believed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would one day jettisoned the highly purported zoning arrangement that the party used to ensure former President Goodluck Jonathan didn’t win second term in office.

Before the 2015 election, all the Northern governors under the PDP led by the then governor of Niger state, Babangida Aliyu, purportedly swore with their grandfathers’ grave that there was a gentleman’s agreement in the party to rotate Presidential seat between South and North.

To actualise this, these aggrieved northern governors sabotaged every efforts of PDP to retain power at the centre by campaigning for the opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC) to win the 2015 election.

One loud yet subtle statement made by those selfish and aggrieved governors and politicians was the existence of zoning of the presidential seat.

This probably informed the decision of the Southerners in PDP not to contest for the party’s presidential ticket, knowing fully well that Northerners have four years to complete their eight years in office.

No wonder, the two contenders for the PDP presidential ticket were only northerners – Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Governor Aminu Tambuwal – a ticket which was later won by Atiku during the PDP Presidential primaries in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The general assumption then was that no northerner would aspire for the highest seat in the land, after President Muhammadu Buhari must have finished his eight years presidency.

However, that assumption turned out a mere wishful thinking, as northerners became the earliest aspirants to declare for the seat, thus shifting a goal post in the middle of a game.

READ ALSO:  2023: South East PDP backs Southern governors’ stance on zoning of Presidency to South

But the decision by the PDP Zoning Committee chaired by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state, to throw open the 2023 Presidential ticket open is nothing but a betrayal of the Southerners, especially the Easterners who have supported the party through thick and thin, good and bad time.

I wonder what the members of the committee comprising the incumbent and former governors, were thinking to arrive at that unpopular decision that would further divide in the party.

But justifying its decision, the PDP committee, in the document entitled, “Recommendations of PDP Zoning Committee,” stated, “ Zoning, as in our party constitution, is affirmed. In spite of the above, the ticket is thrown open, this time around due to the exigency of the time.

“Our party is encouraged to always make the issue of zoning very clear at least six months before sales of forms.
“Our party should commend the efforts of some of our contestants on the issue of consensus candidacy; the efforts should be seen to a peaceful and logical conclusion.”

As laughable as the position of the PDP Zoning Committee sounds, the party must call itself to order because throwing their presidential ticket would translate that the party would not win the much-acclaimed presidential seat in 2023.

By Izuchukwu Epueke
Journalists and Political Analyst

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