The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it will not retain the 2019 zoning formula, where it fielded its presidential candidate from the North East and running mate from the South East, in 2023 as being speculated.
Following the Supreme Court dismissal of the appeal filed by the party and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the February 23, 2019 election, agitations have been coming from some party member that 2023 presidential ticket should remain like the just concluded election.
But PDP said it was yet to reach a decision on the 2023 presidential zoning, adding that those behind the speculation were political terrorists whose aim was to mislead the public and cause disaffection within the ranks of the party.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, PDP National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan also dismissed the claims that governors elected on the platform of the PDP were divided over 2023.
“For the avoidance of doubt, our party is yet to discuss the 2023 presidential election, overtly or covertly, at any time whatsoever.
“If anything, the PDP is currently working with Nigerians on how to win the elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states and will not be distracted by individuals who found themselves operating in the highest offices of the land but failing in governance.
“Moreover, it is also imperative to counsel, without any equivocation, that enemies of our party, who feel threatened by the rising profile of Governor Nyesom Wike, should have a rethink on their incessant attacks on the governor.
“PDP appreciates the contribution of Governor Wike, as well as all our governors, to the growth of our party and urges all members and supporters to ignore those seeking to cause disaffection in our ranks,” the party said.
PDP also demanded unconditional release of its Head of Security in Dekina Local Government, Mr. Edeh Abutu, who was reportedly abducted over alleged possession of illegal firearms and ammunition.
Meanwhile, a member of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has said there is no going back on the emergence of a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
He said his conviction was based on the principles of equity and justice. Iwuanyanwu, speaking at the 81st birthday celebration of four-time Senator Chief Arthur Nzeribe, said the celebrant had always made a strong case for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction.
He reiterated that the restructuring of Nigeria was long overdue saying, the northern part of Nigeria has ruled the country more than the South.
“Presently, power is still in the North. In 2023, being eight straight years of the North holding unto power again, under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, it is expected that power will shift to the South.
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“When you come to the South, the South West and South southern parts of the country have both produced president. It is therefore the turn of the South East to produce the president of this country come 2023 in the interest of equity and fairness.
“These are among the things Senator Nzeribe fought for in his active days in the Senate and the time has come for its realization.
This is non-negotiable.” Iwuanyanwu described Nzeribe as a strong and dependable ally who stood firmly in the defense of the South East and everything just.