• ‘We’ll stick to 2017 distribution of offices ’
• Ugwuanyi panel meets with party chiefs in Enugu
Key leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the North have proposed that the next national chairman of the opposition party should come from the South.
The proposal is the highlight of the zoning arrangement they agreed upon at a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday night, it was learnt on Wednesday.
The proposal will be tabled today as the position of the party’s North leaders at a meeting of Leaders of Thought with Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Governor Ugwuanyi, who is the chairman of the committee on zoning set up at the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, has invited the leaders to today’s meeting to assist the committee to submit a “broad-based” report on zoning of party offices. The PDP will hold its convention on October 31.
“The position of the committee is that zoning is a Herculean task and it will prefer a broad-based consultation before submitting its report,” a senior member of the party said last night.
A source said the Tuesday night meeting of party leaders agreed “not to tamper with the 2017 zoning formula.”
The 2017 zoning formula led to the emergence of the party’s 2019 presidential candidate from the North while the party chairman came from the South.
“We are going to table our demands with cogent reasons before the PDP Zoning Committee headed by Governor Ugwuanyi. Some of our leaders in this group will meet with the committee. It is left to the panel to accept or reject our presentation.
We believe if the 2017 formula is adopted, we can launch ourselves back to power in 2023.”
The source added: “Our recommendations are not final, the National Executive Committee of PDP will still consider the report of the Ugwuanyi’s committee.”
It was learnt that a former Minister of Police Affairs, Ambassador Adamu Maina Waziri was the convener of the meeting.
Those at the meeting were two former Presidents of the Senate, a former Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Inna Ciroma; ex-governors Attahiru Bafarawa; Babangida Aliyu, Sule Lamido and Boni Haruna; a former National Chairman Alh. Kawu Baraje; a former Minister of Special Duties Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (SAN); and Hon. Theophillus Dakkas Shan.
Others included Sen. Zainab Kure; Sen.Joel Danlami Ikenya; Dr. Akilu Indabawa; Hon. Galadima Abba; Hon. Mukhtar Ahmed; Hajiya Hauwa Musa Kida; Hon. Manu Swa; Mrs. Launrentia Mallam; and Dr. Aminu Abdullahi among others.
The leaders were said to be of the opinion that the influence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) must be curtailed in the North.
Other party offices are proposed to be zoned as follows: Deputy National Chairman; National Secretary; National Financial Secretary; National Auditor; National Women Leader; and Deputy National Secretary.
For the South, the leaders demanded the following: National Chairman; Deputy National Chairman; National Organising Secretary; National Treasurer; National Legal Adviser; National Publicity Secretary and National Youth Leader.”
A source at the meeting said: “Having studied the nation’s political situation and the need to salvage decided to meet to guide the PDP on its permutations for 2023 beginning with the forthcoming party’s National Convention.
“The zoning formula for power sharing at the party level will no doubt go a long way to determine where the presidential ticket will go to.
“We agreed not to tamper with the 2017 zoning formula in the party in order to give APC a good fight during the next poll.
“For PDP, we have come to terms with the fact that we cannot afford to be out of power for 12 years. And PDP is the only party with solutions to the present challenges facing the nation.”
A former governor at the session said: “By implications, we want the party to retain its presidential ticket in the North where we can curtail APC with its so-called 12million votes.