After some back and forth over a period of time, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has finally adopted report of the national caucus of the party, which approved the report of the 37-man committee that threw open the presidential ticket of the party.
Before the NEC, PDP stakeholders had met at the Benue State Governor’s Lodge at 10 am, but no resolution was reached and the meeting was adjourned for further consultation.
However, while the meeting was adjourned to 8pm, the Board of Trustees (BoT) too met at 7pm, where the report was adopted.
But before the NEC and BoT meetings, it was agreed to adopt zoning in subsequent elections, and, due to time factor, the presidential ticket of the party should be thrown open.
The NEC and BoT, therefore, urged the party to work towards a consensus candidate, if possible.
The report of the 37-man committee was signed by 36 members, except the member from Imo State, Nze Fidelis OziChukwu.
According to the communique, “The 2022 National Zoning Committee, after extensive deliberations on the mandate given to it by the National Executive Committee of our great Party, at its 95th meeting held on Wednesday March 16, 2022, resolved as follows:
“That Zoning and Rotational Presidency provision in the PDP is good and served the party well in the past. It should be affirmed and it is hereby affirmed. We must always try to enshrine justice justly and fairly.
“That it is in the interest of justice and fair play that the party should take decision on zoning timeously so as to prevent complication to the process as it is happening now.
“In the light of the above, the presidential election should now be left open. However, the party should work towards a consensus candidate where possible,” the NEC said, even as it adopted the zoning committee report.
In his opening address, National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, said, the NWC was working round the clock to reposition the party.
At the same time, Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Sokoto State Governor, Waziri Tambawul, said, the party was well-mobilised towards various congresses and national convention and ultimately, the 2023 general election.
“I assure you, Mr. Chairman, as your governors, we are always ready to continue to give you every support that is required for our party to emerge successful in the general election, starting with congresses at various levels. We’re very proud of the work, you’re doing and members of the National Working Committee,” he said.
House of Representatives Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, said the array of credible, competent and experienced statesmen as PDP presidential aspirants, had unsettled the failed, corrupt and rejected All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to him, “The rattled APC is parading a congregation of pretenders and political strange bedfellows; flocking treasury looters, narrow-minded politicians and failed government officials, many of whom are not in contest but recruited as conduits to siphon billion of naira from public treasury as exorbitant nomination fees to corruptly amass election slush fund for the APC.
“Among these are individuals who, as officials of the failed APC administration engaged in reckless pillaging of our commonwealth and foisted a life of misery where millions of Nigerians can no longer afford their daily meals and other necessities of life.
“They include those who condone and rationalise the daily killings and acts of terrorism in our country; who sit in government that deliberately denies our youths the education and opportunities they deserve; failed politicians, rejected by Nigerians, yet, they have the impudence to seek office as president.
“Is it not provocative that while thousands of our university students are shut out of their classes over the lingering strike by lecturers in our public universities, the ministers whose responsibility it is to address the issues are more interested in politics?”
He, therefore, called on the federal government to immediately resolve the industrial action so that the students could return to their studies.
His words: “We also restate our demand to the federal government to address the challenges in the aviation sector as well as the lingering fuel crisis, which have further crippled our nation’s economy.
“More importantly, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to take stronger steps to secure the release of those abducted by terrorists including in the Kaduna/Abuja train attack and especially, the woman who put to bed at the den of kidnappers. We must not let our citizens continue to languish in captivity.
“Leaders of our party, it is apparent that the APC, having lost all goodwill is deliberately deploying poverty and social dislocation as political weapons to weaken the resolve of Nigerians ahead of the coming elections.
“Nevertheless, one thing is sure, Nigerians have seen through the antics of the APC and cannot be compromised by money or coercion. That is why they are rallying the PDP platform. I salute their courage and determination and we must not let them down.
“We must remain united and focused in all our activities. We must go into this NEC meeting with undiluted patriotism, eschew all personal, group and sectional interests and come out with strong decisions that will lead our party to victory in 2023,” he said.
The presidential convention is scheduled to take place in Abuja and the committee is headed by a former President of the Senate, David Mark.
Culled from THISDAY