Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
As intense lobbying and horse-trading for the 2023 polls get under way, the South East Zone of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has insisted on a Southern President succeeding President Muhamnadu Buhari in 2023.
Stakeholders of South East PDP who met in Enugu on Sunday, declared that there was no going back on their position which according to them, is based on equity and justice.
PDP Zonal Chairman, South East, Chief Ali Odefa, who made the declaration while addressing newsmen after the crucial Zonal Executive Committee, ZEC, meeting of the party held in Enugu, argued that it is morally unjust and politically incorrect for the North which will be finishing an eight year tenure in 2023 to be scheming to succeed Buhari who is also a Northerner.
The Zonal leadership of PDP also directed that the existing zoning patterns in states and constituencies of the zone must be strictly observed and adhered to in every state and constituency of the zone.
Odefa said it was unanimously agreed that the “PDP should zone the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the southern part of the country ahead of the party primaries.”
He added that “the PDP South East stands with the resolution of the Southern Governors’ Forum that the office of the President should be zoned to the Southern part of Nigeria.”
Continuing he said: “On the issue of zoning at the state and constituency levels we said where there are existing zoning patterns, they must be strictly observed and adhered to in every state and constituency.
“We also went ahead to make interventions for our members who are holding political and elective positions in Anambra State who didn’t defect to other political parties in the time of the election but stood by the party, PDP, in times of bad weather, that they should be given support to return back to their various offices”.
Odefa said that the zonal leadership of the party would make a presentation to the National Working Committee of the party for assistance in that regard.
In attendance at the meeting were Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, and his Enugu State counterpart, and the host, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; PDP National Secretary, Senator Sam Anyanwu; and former Abia State Governor, Senator T.A. Orji.
Present also were members of the states’ and national Assembly; members of PDP National Executive Committee, NEC, from the South East; Board of Trustees, BOT, members; among others.