Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will meet on Thursday to take a final decision on the zoning of the presidential ticket of the main opposition party, THISDAY has learnt.
THISDAY gathered that the National Working Committee (NWC) would also meet on Tuesday.
PDP has also adjusted its Timetable and Schedule of Activities to extend the closing dates for the purchase and submission of Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for the 2023 general election.
The 37-man committee headed by the Governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom, had last week submitted its report to the Senator Iyorchia Ayu-led NWC of the party.
The Deputy Chairman of the committee, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu submitted the committee’s report on behalf of Ortom.
In their separate comments, Ayu and Elumelu had stated that only the NEC of the party would have the final say on the vexed issue of zoning after debating the outcome of the committee’s report.
Ayu promised that the committee’s recommendations would be transmitted to the NEC, which would take a final decision.
According to him, the decision would be made known to “party members across the country and all Nigerians who are eagerly awaiting the final decision of your committee.”
THISDAY had reported that the zoning committee had recommended that the presidential ticket should be thrown open to all those interested in the ticket from any part of the country.
Sources close to the committee had stated that the party’s leadership was more interested in how to win the presidential election than zoning of the presidency which might hamper their effort to regain power in 2023.
However, the governors of the party from the South rose from their meeting last week, insisting that the presidential ticket of the party must be zoned to the South.
Speaking to THISDAY yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Debo Ologunagba, said the party was making arrangements to hold the NWC meeting immediately after the Easter break on Tuesday and the NEC meeting on Thursday.
“After our NWC meeting immediately after the Easter break, we meet to fix the date for the NEC meeting for the primary duty of receiving the report of the zoning committee and take a final decision on the zoning of the presidential ticket”.
He said: “We intend to meet on Thursday for this purpose, all things being equal. Time is no longer on our side. This matter is expected to be fixed once and for all.”
Meanwhile, PDP has further adjusted its Timetable and Schedule of Activities to extend the closing dates for the purchase and submission of Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for the 2023 general election.
According to a statement by the party’s spokesman, “this is to enable the party to make up for the two days of public holidays as announced by the federal government”.
Under the new timetable, the last day for the purchase of all forms has been extended to Tuesday, April 19, 2022, while the last day for the submission of already completed forms has also been extended to Wednesday, April 20, 2022.
“New dates have been fixed for the screening of aspirants for various positions; state Houses of Assembly will hold on Friday, April 22, 2022; National Assembly will hold on Monday, April 25, 2022; governorship is Tuesday, April 26, 2022; while presidential is Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
“Screening Appeals are scheduled as follows: State House of Assembly will hold on Monday, April 25, 2022; National Assembly is Wednesday, April 27, 2022; governorship is Friday, April 29, 2022; while the presidential is Saturday, April 30, 2022. All other dates as earlier published remain unchanged,” the statement explained. The statement added that all duly completed forms for state Houses of Assembly are to be submitted to the various state secretariat of the party.
Culled from THISDAY