Road to 2023: Ohanaeze hits PDP over open presidential ticket

cdab benue governor samuel ortom
cdab benue governor samuel ortom

From Magnus Eze, Enugu

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has criticised the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for throwing its presidential ticket open to all members.

A 37-member Zoning Committee of the PDP, chaired by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, in its report to the National Working Committee of the party, failed to zone the slot.

President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo George Obiozor has questioned why the PDP had decided to jettison zoning when it is the turn of the South and particularly the South East region of Nigeria.

For purpose of clarity, he stated that the rotation and zoning principle was engrained into the PDP’s Constitution in 2009.

Quoting Article 7 (2) (c) of the PDP Constitution, Obiozor stated: ‘In pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness, the party shall adhere to the policy of rotation and zoning of the party and public elective offices, and it shall be enforced by the appropriate executive committee at all levels.’

In a statement on his behalf by National Publicity Secretary of the group, Alex Ogbonnia, on Wednesday, the Igbo leader deplored the unconscionable shifting of the goal post in the middle of the game.

He said that such violation of the zoning principle that has been well entrenched in the PDP constitution simply changed the rules of the game in order to deprive Igbos of the opportunity to produce a president for Nigeria.

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He declared that it was a political blunder and betrayal given what Ndigbo have suffered in their country and most recently for supporting the PDP.

Obiozor stated that history has never been kind to betrayers and the treacherous, stressing that the machinations and conspiracies to deny Ndigbo their due place in Nigeria was an ingratitude that daily cried to God.

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Ohanaeze Ndigbo urged all the Igbo presidential aspirants to remain focused and undaunted because of the PDP shenanigans, pointing out that history will always vindicate the just.

‘Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide reiterates the position of the Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum led by Chief E K Clark that any party that does not zone its presidential ticket to the South should not expect the support of the Middle Belt and the entire South. It is therefore curious that the PDP should commit political hara-kiri at a time it is struggling for fresh air. It is unfortunate that the PDP glamourises inordinate ambitions; any political ambition that undermines nation-building should be checkmated. One of the roles of a political party in a democracy is nation-building and for the PDP to shirk its responsibilities is an unfortunate path to Golgotha,’ the statement read.

‘Let it be known that it runs contrary to the indomitable Igbo spirit to swallow any form of indignity, disdain or condescension from anybody or group. It is therefore highly inconceivable that the Igbo will validate a party or group that runs roughshod over its sensibilities.

‘For the avoidance of doubt, there is hardly any society that can develop amidst crises. Development is a product, an effect that arises from peace, unity and national coherence. On the other hand, the basics of peace, unity and sustainable national development are justice, equity and human dignity. In order words, to expect sustainable economic development rooted in injustice is mere shadow chasing. This is an irrepressible scientific, philosophical, historical and moral assertion that may be ignored at one’s peril.’

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