2023: SOUTHERN PDP GOVS INSIST ON PRESIDENTIAL TICKET, DESPITE CONSENSUS MOVES; SAYS POSITION NON-NEGOTIABLE

Southern Governors in Nigeria, elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have urged that the party zones its Presidential ticket to the Southern part of the country in the interest of Justice, Equity and Fairplay.

The Governors made this known after rising from a meeting held between last night and the early hours of this morning, Friday, April 8 – Saturday April 9, at the Akwa Ibom State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja.

This meeting was held amidst moves by some PDP Presidential aspirants from the North, to lobby for a consensus Presidential flagbearer and a widely reported story that the Samuel Ortom Zoning committee, may have jetiissoned the suggestion to zone the Presidency to a particular region and recommended a Presidential primaries open to all contestants, ahead of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary election slated for May 28 and 29, 2022; an allegation, which the Benue state Governor has robustly denied.

After the meeting in the earlier hours of Saturday morning in Akwa Ibom House, Abuja, the PDP Southern Governors hinted at their commitment to the party’s unity, saying “the best is to zone the presidency to the south.”

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, the Deputy Chairman of the PDP GOVERNORS FORUM who chaired the meeting addressed newsmen on behalf of his colleagues after the meeting.

Addressing newsmen on behalf of his colleagues, Vice Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Okezie Ikpeazu, said their decision may be bitter to some people, but they stand on it.

He said, “Our position is that first, we are committed to the unity of our party and we have worked hard to make sure that this party remains a strong and viable vehicle to rescue Nigeria come 2023.

“Be that as it may, we want to draw your attention to the fact that we have agreed as southern governors in Lagos and also in Delta that this party has to respect the zoning principle as enshrined in our Constitution, and to that effect, we feel that the best thing to do is to zone the presidency to the South, and we stand on that position.

“We have not seen any reason to change our position, because the party was founded based on equity and justice. And we also think that equity and justice are important pillars that will ultimately stabilise our politics towards our journey in rescuing Nigeria.

“This is our position and that is why we have met today. We think what this country is lacking today is our ability to dispense equity and justice. It may be difficult, it may be a bitter pill but we need to stand with the truth.”

On whether they will support the consensus candidate, being promoted by Sokoto state governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, immediate past president of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki and Governor of Bauchi state, Bala Mohammed, the Abia state governor said they were not concerned about that.

“I want to reiterate the position of the Southern governors, it is not my duty to speculate on what others are doing. But you must ask yourself, what is the truth? What is it that if we do it today we serve with the fairness of equity and justice. It is to zone Presidency to the South,” Governor Ikpeazu declared, on behalf of the Southern Governors.

The meeting was attended by the Governor of Oyo State Seyi Makinde, that of Rivers State Nyesom Wike, Akwa Ibom State Udom Emmanuel, Bayelsa state Douye Diri and governor of Enugu State Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

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