There has been a clamour within the PDP that the opposition party should zone the 2023 presidential ticket to the south.
But the committee charged with the responsibility of investigating the party’s loss in 2019 had recommended that aspirants from the six geo-political zones in the country should feel free to seek the party’s presidential ticket.
This recommendation has caused a flurry of protests within the party especially from the South-Eastern part of the country.
Some governors, according to TheNation, claimed the chairman of the committee, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State had an ulterior motive for calling for the cancellation of the party’s zoning principle when the South-East is believed to be the next region to produce the next presidential candidate of the party.
The development prompted the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan to issue a statement on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, that the party had neither discussed the committee’s recommendations nor taken any position on the zoning of the 2023 presidential election.
Despite the statement, members who spoke to TheNation said the recommendation had already caused a problem that continues to fester by the day.
A party source said, “Many governors are disappointed at the decision of the Bauchi governor to submit the report and even make its resolutions public.
“This is because the issue was already being debated among the governors prior to the submission of the report.
“The governors were not on the same page over what the party should do about zoning as regards the 2023 presidential ticket of the party.
“Even some members of the committee disagree with Governor Mohammed on the recommendation.”
It’s also been reported that some of the committee members did not endorse the committee’s report.
A dissatisfied member of the committee said, “It is wrong for Governor Mohammed to have submitted that report because that wasn’t the position of all members of the committee.
“As at the time of the submission and publicizing of that report, opinions of committee members on the crucial issue of zoning and the 2023 presidential ticket were still sharply divided.
“I want you to go and ask members of the committee if truly we agreed that the PDP presidential ticket should be thrown open in 2023. We never did.
“The only thing I know is that some members openly expressed the need for the party to respect zoning while others want the party to consider the prevailing political factors as we approach 2023.
“At no time did the committee agree that zoning should be done away with. But it is obvious right from inception that the committee was being influenced by some external forces.”
Other members of the party who are displeased by the report have also reportedly accused the National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus and governor Mohammed of planning to use the committee’s recommendations to advance the chances of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to emerge as the party’s candidate
Another party source said, “A governor from the southern part of the country has openly accused Governor Mohammed and Prince Secondus of using the report to favour Atiku.
“The governor claimed that the report he received from his state’s representative on the committee is contrary to what Mohammed presented to Secondus.
“The governor also claimed that the PDP Governors’ Forum got wind of the report that was presented and following complaints by some governors, cautioned that the committee should desist from making such public.
“He alleged that the national chairman insisted that the presentation of the report should go on. It is our belief that the committee is being used to achieve a pre-meditated goal.
“The report is not the position of the committee as constituted, but the parochial view of a few members as encouraged by a partial arbiter.
While the disagreement over zoning continues within the party, PDP governors from the south are reportedly planning to meet over the development.