PDP South West Congress: Senator commends reconciliation committee 

•Mark, Makarfi, Shema favoured

As Northern leaders meet today

•S-East gets Nat. Secretary

Southern PDP govs meet today in Benin

Why PDP should zone candidate to North —Owie

By Dirisu Yakubu & Ozioruva Aliu

The sale of nomination forms for various National Working Committee, NWC, offices of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, originally fixed for yesterday, did not commence owing to the inability of the South and Northern regions to conclude their micro zoning arrangements.

Although, the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the PDP, last week, ratified the zoning recommendation of the zoning committee led by Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, distribution of these offices among the states in the federation is giving PDP leaders sleepless nights.

An official of the party at the PDP secretariat told Vanguard that though the office of the National Organizing Secretary was opened as early as 8:30 am, yesterday, no aspirant for any of the offices turned up in what he attributed to “the ongoing deliberations on what each state should get.”

Vanguard learned that though some governors want David Mark, former Senate President, as the next chairman of the party, other prominent party members including former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, are trying to convince party leaders to settle for former Kaduna State Governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

Makarfi, Vanguard gathered, is gradually becoming the front runner as stakeholders believe he gave a good account of himself when he served as chairman of the PDP caretaker committee that conducted the 2017 national elective convention, which ushered in the outgoing NWC.

Former Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema was nominated alongside Makarfi, last week, by PDP stakeholders from the North-West zone.

Bala Mohammed to host northern PDP leaders

Meanwhile, Senator Bala Mohammed, the Bauchi State governor will today host PDP leaders from the North, the second time he would be doing so in one week.

An official of the PDP Governors’ Forum, who pleaded anonymity, told Vanguard that the meeting would assist the leaders conclude on states that will produce occupants of the offices zoned to the North in the next NWC.

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“They had a fruitful meeting last week even though they did not arrive at a conclusion. Tonight, we expect that leg of the negotiation to be completed ahead of the convention.

In a related development, there are strong indications that the PDP may have zoned the position of National Secretary to the South- East geo-political zone.

Southern PDP govs meet in Benin

A member of the zoning committee, who does not want his name in print told Vanguard that a meeting of Southern PDP Governors will hold today in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

The purpose of the meeting which will be hosted by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, according to the source, is to take a definite position on the offices zoned to the Southern part of the country.

Up for grabs for the region at the October 31 convention are the offices of national secretary, national woman leader, national publicity secretary, national auditor, national financial secretary as well as deputy national chairman (South) of the party.

Why PDP should zone candidate to North —Owie

Meanwhile, former Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Roland Owie, yesterday, said for equity and fairness, the PDP should pick its 2023 presidential candidate from the North.

Speaking to journalists in Benin City, Owie said since 1999, the South has through Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Jonathan ruled the country for 14 years while the North through late Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua ruled for less than three years.

He said: “Under the PDP constitution zoning is not in it but it was brought in. It was on the basis of injustice meted out to the West because of the case of late Chief MKO Abiola that led to the ceding of the presidency to the West which produced President Olusegun Obasanjo.

“The two major parties decided to bring their candidates from the South-West. Our party, the PDP presented Olusegun Obasanjo while the APP/AD produced Olu Falae and we went into the election to build unity, to build a consensus that it should rotate.

“Obasanjo lost his unit, lost his ward, lost his local government, lost his state, lost his zone but still won the election because there was a consensus. Obasanjo did his eight years even though within the time we tried to impeach him. In 2007, the presidency moved to the North, the two major parties picked their candidates from the North and late President Yar’Adua won but Yar’Adua spent two years plus and God called him and his Vice became acting president and then contested and became president. So, if you calculate: From 1999 to now under the PDP, the Southern part of Nigeria has taken 14 years, 240 days as president of this country while the North took two years plus.

“On APC, I can’t talk for them but the North has taken eight years so they are very free to rotate their presidency to the South but the PDP will be unjust if it takes its candidate from the South. For the PDP, the only party that believes in the unity of this country, the presidency should go to the North. Let no individual interest or ambition stop PDP from doing what is right.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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