Zoning: PDP chiefs to meet, Bode George writes Ayu
The Peoples Democratic Party is set to hold a make-or-break meeting amid the raging controversy on the zoning of its presidential ticket.
The meeting, which is expected to hold between Wednesday and Thursday, will have governors, lawmakers and party stalwarts in attendance.
They are expected to take a final decision on whether to zone the presidential ticket or not at the meeting.
To this end, a PDP stalwart, Chief Bode George, has written to the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, on the need to retain the zoning formula in the spirit of the constitution of the PDP and unity of Nigeria.
George said if the zoning formula in the constitution of the party is not respected, the party will be badly affected electorally in the forthcoming general elections.
Confirming the letter, George told journalists in Lagos on Friday that as a party noted for zoning, the founding fathers found a super gift to Nigeria by removing the friction of the majority having it and the minority being onlookers.
He said, “Both sides, North and South, we are not yet at the point where we can say ‘it doesn’t matter where you come from.’ Let us carry that level of respectability that the party was noted for, that in any crisis, you would have men who can rise above pettiness and still tell truth to power, the party must be definitive.
“This thing should go to the south; it does not exclude anybody else who will also contest. Let the people of this country trust us. If we ever come out to say it would go to all the zones, the distrust of the party in this country will go from zero level to maximum.”
George, who was a member of the 37-member committee on zoning, said issues came up during deliberations but when it was pointed out to the anti-zoning supporters that zoning was in the party’s constitution, they had no defence to put up.
“When they were saying no zoning, we read the constitution and they kept quiet. This is the latest constitution and until that is changed, it remains sacrosanct. They now said, this is a family meeting and that some people came out too early and they have been spending money, are we going to discountenance that and that will further exacerbate the division,” he said.
Speaking with The PUNCH, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Debo Ologunagba, said the National Working Committee had yet to receive the report of the zoning committee which would be transmitted to NEC.
“To the best of my knowledge, the NWC has not received the zoning report but once it has been received, it will be forwarded to NEC,” he said.