…Final decision rests with NEC –Ortom

sam ortom
sam ortom

By Sunday Ani

Contrary to what has been widely reported in the media that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has jettisoned its zoning arrangement and thrown open the contest for its presidential ticket for the 2023 poll to all geopolitical zones, Chairman of the party’s 37-man zoning committee and Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has debunked the report.

Ortom said the committee only submitted its recommendations to the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), which has the final decision on whether the presidential ticket should be zoned to the south or north or thrown open to aspirants from all geopolitical zones of the country.

He stated this on a Channels Television programme, yesterday.

“I want to repeat that the committee’s work at our own level has been concluded; it is now left for the NEC to decide on what they think is the best for the party and Nigerians. We have just made a recommendation to the NEC, but it will now take a final decision. I think that NEC will soon invite us to a meeting because in any case most members of the committee are also members of NEC. So, at NEC, there will be robust discussions on what will help Nigerians and what will help the party to win in 2023,” Ortom said.

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On whether the party had not taken the wrong step by contemplating whether to jettison zoning or abide by it as has been the tradition of the party, Ortom said: “We have not shot ourselves in the foot and we will not do that. We listen to the people; we are grassroots-oriented and we want to make sure that whatever we do reflects the interests of our people in the PDP and the interests of Nigerians.”

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Although he agreed that there could be some dissenting voices if zoning is finally jettisoned based on where such persons come from and their collective interests within their constituency, Ortom said at the end of the day, they would still come together and look at the larger picture of winning the 2023 presidential election.

“It is not just about having a candidate, but it is about going ahead to campaign and winning  the election so that we can rescue Nigeria and rebuild it. This is our paramount interest for now, but as I said, this is not the final decision. Whatever we have decided, which in our wisdom we have chosen not to make public, we are submitting it to NEC and NEC will deliberate on it, consult and take a final decision. Every average PDP member is concerned about winning the election. We will do whatever we can to give us favour before the people and make things work for us to win the election…There was money in 2015 but did PDP win? Today, we are focusing on ensuring that we get the hearts of the people and in doing so, we must ensure justice, fairness and equity and truthfulness in all that we do. We have emphasised that we will get it right this time by doing the right thing.”

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