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2023 : PDP govs review zoning report as Ortom moves against Kwankwaso, Atiku



 2023 PDP govs review zoning report as Ortom moves against Kwankwaso Atiku

A committee set up by the governors elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to reposition the party ahead of the 2023 presidential election and the party’s November/December 2021 national convention, will also review the earlier report on the zoning of the presidency by the main opposition party, investigation has revealed.

This is as the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom’s support for the next president of the country to emerge from the South to ensure peace, justice, and equity in the country is said to be ruffling some feathers in the PDP, especially in the camps of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal; former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and a former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, are believed to be nursing presidential ambition.

It was gathered that Atiku has commenced consultations to realise his ambition in 2023.

In their recent meeting in Bauchi State, the PDP governors were said to have set up a committee to reposition the party ahead of the 2023 general election and the planned national convention.

The setting up of the committee, which has Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State as Chairman and Governor Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State, as well as two unnamed party officials as members, was however not made public by the party.

READ ALSO :Anambra PDP governorship aspirant dumps party

However, Makinde alluded to the existence of the PDP Repositioning Committee, when he met Fintiri last week in what appeared to be the maiden meeting of the committee in Ibadan.

The Oyo State governor wrote on his verified Twitter handle released by the PDP Publicity Directorate thus, “PDP Governors’ Forum Committee on Party Repositioning- Earlier today, we met with my brother, @GovernorAUF of Adamawa State. As members of the @OfficialPDPNig Governors’ Forum Committee on Party Repositioning, we are working to re-establish our great party as the best alternative for Nigerians in 2023.”

A source close to the PDP governors, said the objectives and working templates of the committee, said that the PDP governors mandated the committee to look into the report of the party’s committee headed by the Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, which threw open the party’s 2023 presidential ticket to both the North and the South.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP had last year urged the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to investigate why the party lost the presidential election in 2019.

This was sequel to a motion raised by Atiku, who was the presidential candidate of the PDP in the last general election.

The source close to the governors said that the Makinde-led committee is to study the Mohammed-led committee’s report and make its recommendations to the PDP governors very soon.

“Also, the Repositioning Committee is to look at the viability of holding a national convention of the party in November or December this year bearing in mind that it is very close to the nomination of candidates for the 2023 general election and the implications of such a convention bearing in mind that it is too close to the general election,” the source explained.

According to him, some PDP governors have raised concerns that the party should not enthrone a leadership that will be learning on the job at a crucial time when elections are around the corner.

The PDP governors told the committee to determine if it would not be too close for comfort for the party to enthrone a new leadership at a time the party should be consolidating ahead of a general election.

Another source of concern to the PDP governors, it was learned, was the comment by the Governor of Benue State, Ortom who has thrown his weight behind the clamour for a southern president.

Ortom had recently argued that the presidency should shift to the South after eight years of a northern presidency.

“Whosoever comes from the south is not my business. Once the people accept him, I’m ready to support that person. And I stand on that based on my stance on equity, fairness, and justice,” he reportedly said.

Ortom’s position, it was gathered, has ruffled some feathers within the PDP, especially among the governors and the camps of Atiku, Tambuwal, and Kwankwaso, who nurse presidential ambition.

One of the PDP governors said that the implication of what the Benue State governor said is that the party is divided on the issue of the zoning of the 2023 presidency.

“Though the PDP has not decided where the presidential candidate should come from, such comment from Ortom is like putting a wedge in the party’s efforts. We will wait till the committee set up on the party’s repositioning finished its work on the way forward. We should not jump the gun.”

He explained that Tambuwal; Atiku; former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and the Bauchi State governor have presidential ambitions.

Some PDP stakeholders have argued that the north should present the presidential candidate for 2023 because former President Olusegun Obasanjo spent eight years, while President Goodluck Jonathan also spent six years. They argued that it remains another four years to balance the north/ south balance of power within the PDP.

But those who argued in favour of the southern presidency cited the case of President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that power should shift to the South after Buhari’s eight-year rule.

Meanwhile, Atiku last week commenced consultations on his presidential aspiration with a meeting with the Rivers State governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike.

The meeting, it was learnt, was also aimed at reconciling the governor with the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus.

Wike and Atiku fell apart over the choice of the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi as the vice-presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2019 presidential election.

The Rivers State governor was said to have felt slighted for allegedly not consulted before Obi was chosen as the running mate to Atiku.

Before the meeting between Atiku and Wike, Ortom had also held a private meeting with Wike and Secondus, in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, few days before the PDP governors meeting in Bauchi State.



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