THE Governor Ifeanyi Uguanyi-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) zoning committee has zoned the party’s national chairmanship position to the North, ahead of the party’s October 30 national convention.

Ugwuanyi, who made this disclosure after the meeting of the committee held on Thursday in Abuja said that the committee resolved that the present national elective positions of the party should be swapped between the North and the South.

With the zoning of the PDP national chairmanship position to the North, the aspirations of the former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, erstwhile governorship candidate of the PDP in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede and former Edo State chairman and national vice chairman of PDP, South South, Dan Orbih to become the national chairman of the party have been halted.

Members of the zoning committee include Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue as the deputy chairman, and the deputy governor of Zamfara, Mahdi Aliyu Mohammed as secretary.

Ugwuanyi, however, said that the mandate of the committee did not include zoning of the offices of the president, vice president and other executive and legislative offices of the country.

According to him “at the end of the deliberations of the PDP national zoning committee, it was resolved as follows: the zoning committee of the PDP was given the mandate to zone national offices to be contested by all PDP members of the party at the PDP national convention of the party scheduled for October 30 and 31 by the national executive committee of the party.”

“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. And the decision of the committee to zone the party offices does not in any way affect the executive and legislative offices in Nigeria. That zoning of offices in PDP has traditionally been between the North and South of Nigeria.

“Consequently, the current offices being held by officers in the southern zones of the country, namely, South-West, SouthEast 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,” Ugwuanyi said.

Checks revealed that the arrangement altered the 2017 zoning arrangement which produced Prince Uche Secondus at the 2017 national convention which subsequently ensured that the North produced the party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar for the 2019 general elections.

With the new development, the northern part of the country will now produce national chairman, deputy national chairman, (North) national organising secretary, national treasurer, national legal adviser, national publicity secretary and national youth leader.

Conversely, the South is expected to swap the offices currently occupied by PDP chieftains from the North.

The offices include, deputy national chairman, national secretary, national financial secretary, national auditor, national woman leader and deputy national secretary, respectively.

Before the Governor Ugwuanyi Committee buckled to pressures from the PDP governors from the southern part of the country, the elders of the party from the North were almost coasting home to victory in pushing for the retention of the 2017 template which could have ensured that the South retained the national chairman and the North again produced the party presidential candidate again for the 2023 general elections.

Further investigation revealed that Oyinlola was already in the race for the position of national chairman.

The other two candidates smarting for the exalted office were the Ondo State governorship candidate of the party, Eyitayo Jegede, and former Edo State chairman and national vice-chairman, South-South, Dan Orbih.

While Oyinlola enjoyed the support of certain former Generals, former ministers and governors, including some serving governors, Eyitayo Jegede was being backed for the office by a former vice president and 2019 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. Dan Orbih was perceived as the anointed candidate of Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike.

Nigerian Tribune checks however revealed that before the 2017 zoning arrangement was altered on Thursday, certain chieftains of the erstwhile ruling party from the North were already engaged in discrete campaigns.

The presidential hopefuls whose dreams might be aborted include, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; incumbent governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal and his counterpart from Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed. Also in the race were former Special Duties Minister, Tanimu Turaki and former Kano state governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

The list revealed three aspirants from the North-West geopolitical zone of the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari who incidentally is from Katsina State and two from the North-East.





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