The quest by former Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, to become the next national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday came to an end, following the zoning of the office to the North by the party.
Reading out the communique to journalists at the end of its meeting which lasted several hours, chairman of the PDP zoning committee and governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, said offices hitherto held by Southerners would go the way of the north and vice versa.
This, he noted, was in compliance with the party’s constitutional provision in the spirit of fairness, justice and equity.
“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,” he said.
For the umpteenth time, Ugwuanyi told newsmen 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.”
He said the decision of the committee to zone the party offices does not in any way affect the executive and legislative offices in Nigeria.
The governor added: “Zoning of offices in PDP has traditionally been between the North and South of Nigeria. We shall pass on our recommendations to the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party through the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party.”
With this development, the North is expected to produce the national treasurer, national woman leader, national organizing secretary, national legal adviser and national youth leader, while the offices of the national secretary, national publicity secretary, national financial secretary, national auditor and national woman leader would go the way of the South at the October 31 national convention.
Although the committee distanced itself from permutations pertaining to zoning of national executives in 2023, the Presidential ambitions of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governor Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) and Bukola Saraki appear far from over.
Contrary to insinuations that a southerner is now favoured to fly the party’s Presidential flag, the party appears set to throw the race open to both the South and the North, in line with the recommendation of the Bala Mohammed committee on the review of the performance of the PDP in the 2019 presidential election.
The meeting was attended by the deputy chairman of the committee and governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, Deputy Governor of Zamfara State and secretary of the committee, Aliyu Mahdi, ex- Senate Presidents, Anyim Pius Anyim and David Mark, among others.
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