2023: Southern Presidency gets boost as PDP zones national chairman to North

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The hope of the South producing the next president of Nigeria recieved a boast as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has zoned the party’s chairmanship to the North ahead of the October 30th national convention.

At the end of the deliberations of the PDP National Zoning Committee held in Abuja on Thursday, it was resolved that all offices held by the South will be swapped with the offices held in the North.

The arrangement has brought jubilation in the South, the section which has been agitating for power shift after eight years of the Northern presidency which ends in 2023.

The communique signed by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Chairman), Governor Samuel Ortom (Deputy Chairman) and Mahdi Aliyu Mohammed states; “The National Zoning Committee of the PDP was given the mandate to zone National offices to be contested by all PDP Members of the Party at the PDP National Convention of the Party scheduled for October 30/31 2021 by the National Executive Committee of the Party.

“That the mandate of the Committee does not include Zoning of the offices of the President, Vice President and other Executive and Legislative offices of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And the decision of the Committee to zone the Party offices does not in any way affect the executive and legislative offices in Nigeria.

“That zoning of offices on PDP has traditionally been between the North and South of Nigeria.

“The decision of the PDP Zoning Committee is in line with the Constitution of the Party on Zoning and rotation of Party and national offices in the interest of justice, equity and fairness. Consequently, the current offices being held by officers in the Southern Zones of the country, namely, South West, South East and South South zones , should swap places with the offices currently in the northern zones of Nigeria, namely, North West, North East and North Central zones.

“We want to thank the Party, especially the National Executive Committee that set up this Committee on September 9, 2021 for finding us worthy to serve the Party in the capacity as Zoning Committee members.

“We shall pass on our recommendations to the National Executive Committee of the Party through the National Working Committee of the Party.”

Presently, the PDP national secretary is from North West; National Organising Secretary, South East; national treasurer, North East; National Publicity Secretary- North Central.

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Also the National Legal Adviser is presently occupied by the South South, one Deputy National Chairman from North East and South West each, National Women leader-North Women Leader and financial Secretary from the North Central.

Prior to the formal announcement by the committee, governors elected on the platform of the PDP on Wednesday met at Akwa Ibom governor’s residence in Abuja where they voted 9-3 in favour of the north producing the party’s chairmanship.

Three northern governors — Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Adamu Fintiri (Adamawa) and Darius Ishaku (Taraba) — voted for the chairmanship to be zoned to the south.

Only one northern governor, Samuel Ortom (Benue), voted for the chairmanship to be in the north.

Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto state (north) and chairman of the PDP governors forum, did not vote as he presided over the meeting.

The other PDP governors who voted in favour of northern chairmanship are: Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), and Douye Diri (Bayelsa).

With this development, the presidential ambition of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Tambuwal, former Senate President Bukola Saraki and Bauchi governor Bala Mohammed may have been cut short.

Our reporters from Enugu, Ibadan, Port Harcourt and other cities in the South report that there are celebrations over the outcome of the zoning. Some persons interviewed said with PDP zoning the chairmanship to the North, the implication is that the South will produce the next occupant of the presidential villa.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) elected governors are working in unison to ensure that the party wins the presidential election in 2023.

He stated that contrary to the expectation of those who do not wish the party well, all the PDP governors are working hard to ensure the party regains the realm of power in 2023.

The governor gave this assurance at a reception for chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC including its former spokesperson, Mr. Ogbonna Nwuke; all the 23 local government chairmen of African Action Congress (AAC) who dumped their parties to join the PDP at the Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt on Thursday.

“We are fighting hard and God willing, PDP will takeover Nigeria in 2023. It is not a question of wishful thinking. It is a question of being committed and we are going to do it. All the governors of (PDP) have agreed, we will do it. PDP will never be divided. All the people who are thinking that PDP will be divided, they have all failed. All those who were trying to sabotage Rivers state, they have all been knocked out.”

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Wike explained that he was not surprised that Nwuke and others have decided to dump the APC. According to him, those who decamped have merely come to the realisation that cannot continue to be misguided and listen to illusive stories, particularly of the APC.

He said the people of Rivers state have seen that the PDP means well for them, hence, they have decided to put their fate in the hands of Almighty God first, and then the PDP.

The governor stated that PDP in the State has never been owned by an individual as is the case with the APC.

He assured those who just decamped to the party and others who will join them in the future, that when decision to pick his successor will be made, they will not be excluded.

“Everybody must participate, and then we will take decision. It can be those who are coming now, you never can tell. Nobody can say because you came in yesterday, or because you came in today, you are not entitled. Everybody is entitled as far as PDP is concern,” he added.

Wike reiterated that Nigerians have since realised that APC led government has failed in all sectors. And he challenged the remnants of the APC to mention what Federal government has done for Rivers state in the last six years.

The governor expressed optimism that the sterling performance of his administration, particularly as it concerns infrastructural and human capacity development, has continued to endear the party to voters in the State.

“No one project awarded by this administration will remain abandoned before we leave on the 29 May 2023. And then, another PDP government will come and take over from us. Let me assure you, God has already sealed it. Let nobody bother himself, PDP will take over Rivers State again because it is very obvious. Why will PDP take over? We will take over because we have made promises to you and we have fulfilled the promises.”

He further charged all the PDP local government chairmen to ensure that those who just decamped to the party are not alienated.

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Former Rivers State APC spokesperson, Ogbonna Nwuke, said in the last six years they have been in the wilderness.

“We were promised change, but I will say we did not find change in Etche. All politics is local and I couldn’t stand by, do the fighting and watch those who superintended over the affairs of the APC act in a manner that appeared callous.

Accordingly, we have found our way out of wilderness. We have stumbled into light and we have found development partner and that development partner is the PDP.

“We have seen the good road that you built. First, you gave us the Igwuruta-Chokocho dual carriage road. Then you gave us the Udofor-Akpoku-Umuoye Road. And the other day you returned and then you gave us the announcement of the Chokocho-Igbodo Road. Your Excellency, there is jubilation in Etche. I am jubilant myself.

“I am excited. And to tell you the candid truth, there could have been no better news. Today your Excellency, I have come back home . Honestly, there can be nothing better than home. Etche has 205 oil wells, Etche has over 80 percent of gas deposit south of River Niger and Your Excellency, you have already identified our need. the Etche need is access.”

A former member of the House of Representatives, Emma Deeyah, who also dumped the APC, said they were endeared to Wike because of his bold and courageous leadership in the State.

Chairman of the PDP in Rivers State, Ambassador Desmond Akawor said all the former APC chieftains and AAC members that decamped to the PDP, were lured to join opposition by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi.

He said having realised that the APC has nothing to offer the people of the State and Nigerians, they decided to dump the party and all that it represents to join the PDP.

Some members of the APC that decamped to the PDP are former member of House of Representatives, Daemi Akpanah; former member of House of Assembly, Ibiso Nwuche; former Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Stephen Ezekwem; former Commissioner of Works, Levy Braide; former member of House of Assembly, Emmanuel Okata; former chairman, Rivers State Civil Service Commission, Ngo Martins-Yellowe; Goodlife Nmekini, former Special Adviser to Governor Chibuike Amaechi; Dr. Barinedum Nwibere, former Director General, Cole/Giadom campaign organisation among others.

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