PDP Dumps Zoning, Throws Contest Open
The decision came after a meeting on Tuesday at the Benue State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja.
According to a source as reported by the Punch newspaper who pleaded anonymity, the committee threw open the ticket “due to exigency of time” saying “zoning, as in our party constitution, is affirmed.”
The document read:
“Recommendations of PDP Zoning Committee
“1. Zoning, as in our party constitution, is affirmed.
“2. Inspite of (1) above, (the) Ticket is thrown Open, this time around due to exigency of time.
“3. Our Party is encouraged to always make the issue of zoning very clear at least 6 months before sales of forms.
“4. Our Party should commend the efforts of some of our contestants on the issue of consensus candidacy; the efforts should be seen to a peaceful and logical conclusion.”
On March 16, 2022, the party’s National Executive Committee, at its 95th meeting, instituted a 37-man committee comprising members from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory to recommend a zoning formula for the various electoral offices ahead of next year’s polls.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom said, “by the Grace of God, we have unanimously adopted a position that will be sent to the NEC of our party that appointed us.
“The good news for teaming supporters of the PDP and Nigerians is that we have resolved and every one of us-the 37 members, unanimously adopted the position that we are going to present to NEC.”
Although Ortom was reticent about the zoning formula, reports say the committee would urge NEC to fling open the Presidential race to all aspirants, irrespective of their zones.
Another senior party source who spoke shortly after the meeting said the party would throw open the presidential ticket rather than restrict it to a region.
The source said, “Reference was made to the 10 states with the highest turnout of voters in the 2019 election. Of these 10, nine were Northern states and only Lagos made the list. Kano, Kaduna, and Katsina had the highest voter turnout while Lagos came a distant fourth.
“Aspirants should be allowed to test their popularity at the primary election but if they choose to adopt a consensus approach, that will be acceptable to the party. It is a position every member of the committee was comfortable with.”
Recall that the PDP zoned its presidential ticket to the North during the 2019 general elections.
The party argued that the zone still has an uncompleted tenure following the demise of former President Umaru Yar’Adua, on May 5, 2010, who only served for two years and 11 months.
Consequently, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar emerged presidential candidate at the 2018 primaries held in Port Harcourt.