Ahead of its Presidential primary election fixed for May 28, fresh crisis looms for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP as governors from the South have insisted that the Presidential ticket for the 2023 election must not be an open contest.
This position has pitched them against two of their Northern colleagues in the persons of Aminu Tambuwal, Bala Mohammed, governors of Sokoto and Bauchi states; former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; Ex-Senate President, Bukola Saraki and banker-turned politician, Muhammed Hayatu-Deen, all of whom have since joined the Presidential race on the platform of the PDP.
Rising from a meeting which held at the Akwa Ibom state Governor’s lodge late Friday night, the governors insisted that the PDP, “a party founded on the principle of equity,” must be fair to the South by zoning its Presidential ticket to the South as it did in 2019 when the contest was solely a Northern affair.
“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 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 on the basis of equity and justice. And we also think that equity and justice are important pillars that will ultimately stabilize our politics towards our journey in rescuing Nigeria.
On the argument that nomination forms had already been sold to aspirants from the North, Ikpeazu noted that not being able to stand firm with the truth is the reason the country is in a huge mess today.
According to him, “if you want to take a position of policy, you don’t look at problems on their face and take decision . You take a decision and remain firm on that decision. We think what this country is lacking today is our inability to dispense equity and justice. It may be difficult, it may be a bitter pill to swallow but we need to stand with the truth,” he added.
At the meeting were Governors Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Seyi Makinde of Oyo state.
Others include Duoye Diri and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Bayelsa and Enugu states respectively.