From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) governors from the South have rejected proposal to throw the contest for the party’s 2023 presidential ticket open to all qualified aspirants.
The governors, after a meeting, in Abuja, on Friday night, insisted that the PDP 2023 presidential ticket must be zoned to the South in the spirit of equity and fairplay.
The PDP committee on zoning, headed by Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, had recommended that the presidential ticket should be thrown open to all qualified aspirants.
The Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, who spoke on behalf of the governors, at a press briefing, said their stance is based on the resolutions of the Southern Governors Forum at the meetings in Delta and Lagos that the presidency must be zoned to the the South in 2023.
The meeting was attended by Governors Nyesom Wike, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Seyi Makinde, Udom Emmanuel and Diri Douye of Rivers, Enugu, Oyo, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa respectively, as well as Ikpeazu.
The Abia governor, who is also the Vice Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, said it was not the fault of the South that the opposition did not win the presidential poll in 2019, when the ticket was ceded to the North.
“We have watched with keen interest the developments in our party especially concerning zoning. Our position is that first, we are committed to the unity of our party and we have worked hard to make sure that this party remains strong and viable vehicle to rescue Nigeria come 2023.
“Be that as it may, we want to draw your attention to the fact that we have agreed as Southern Governors in Lagos and also in Delta that this party has to respect the zoning principle as enshrined in our Constitution, and to that effect, we feel that the best thing to do is zone the presidency to the South, and we stand on that position.
“We have not seen any reason to change our position, because the Party was founded on the basis of equity and justice. And we also think that equity and justice is an important pillar that will ultimately stabilize our politics towards our journey in rescuing Nigeria.
This is our position and that is why we have met today.”