The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has opted to throw the contest for its presidential ticket open rather than zone it to a particular region of the country.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, announced this decision on Wednesday while briefing reporters at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) after the NEC meeting.
He informed reporters that the decision was part of the resolutions reached at the end of the 96th PDP NEC meeting, which was well attended by various party leaders.
“After a very extensive deliberation, NEC aligned with the recommendation of the PDP National Zoning Committee that the presidential election should now be left open. The Party should also work towards consensus candidate where possible,” the communique read in part.
“NEC noted the recommendation of the Zoning Committee that in the interest of justice and fair play, the Party should take decision on Zoning timeously so as to prevent complications to the process.”
Date For Presidential Primary
At the meeting, the PDP NEC also adopted a date for its presidential primary and special national convention and chose former Senate President David Mark to head the organising committee.
“NEC ratified the conduct of the Presidential Primary (Special National Convention) to elect our Party’s Presidential Candidate on Saturday, May 28 to Sunday, May 29, 2022, in Abuja,” the communique said.
“NEC approved the setting up of the National Convention Organizing Committee and approved the appointment of His Excellency, Senator David Mark as Chairman, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as Deputy Chairman and His Excellency Barr. Ibrahim Shema as Secretary.”
The party’s NEC gave the assurance of free, fair, credible, and transparent processes for the emergence of its candidates for all elective positions in the 2023 general elections.
Read the full communique below:
Communique Issued at the End of the 96th National Executive Committee (NEC) Meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Held Today, Wednesday, May 11, 2022, at the PDP National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great Party at its 96th meeting extensively deliberated on urgent national issues as well as the preparation of our Party for the 2023 general elections and resolved as follows:
1. NEC commended the dedication of the National Working Committee (NWC) under the Chairmanship of Sen. Dr. Iyorchia Ayu in effectively piloting the affairs of our Party, particularly in the organization of processes preparatory to the 2023 general elections.
2. NEC restated its confidence in the ability of the NWC to lead our Party to victory in the 2023 general elections.
3. NEC applauded other organs of the Party; namely the Board of Trustees (BoT), the PDP Governors’ Forum, the National Assembly Caucus, the Zonal and State Organs of the Party, our structure at various levels, critical stakeholders and teeming members across the country for their efforts in strengthening our Party in the mission to Rescue and Rebuild our nation from the misrule of the APC.
4. NEC commended the NWC for the deft handling of issues relating to the conduct and outcome of our Party Congresses at various levels preparatory to the election of candidates for various elective positions in the 2023 general elections.
5. NEC applauded the spirit of sportsmanship being exhibited by our leaders, critical stakeholders, aspirants and party members on issues relating to our Congresses.
On the State of the nation
6. NEC strongly decried the worsening insecurity and continued killing of innocent Nigerians by terrorists who are emboldened by the exposed refusal of the APC-led government to confront the terrorists even when it knows their locations, listens to their phone conversations and even aware of their plans.
7. NEC Condemned the failure/refusal of the APC government to rescue our citizens still languishing in their abductors’ dens including victims of last month’s terrorism attack on the Abuja/Kaduna train. NEC urged the Federal Government to live up to its Constitutional duty to secure life and property and ensure an unconditional release of all the abductees.
8. NEC expressed dismay that our security command and control coordination structure has collapsed under President Muhammadu Buhari as Mr. President remains “absent” having abdicated his duties as Commander-in-Chief and surrendering sovereignty over a substantial part of our country to terrorists.
9. NEC further condemned the humongous corruption and deliberate economic manipulations in the APC Government which have crippled our productive sector and resulted in the unbearable high cost of food items and other essential goods and services with consequential excruciating economic hardship to our citizens.
10. NEC rejected the continuing closure of public universities in Nigeria due to the refusal/failure of the APC government to decisively address the lingering industrial action by lecturers in public universities despite the huge resources at its disposal. It cautioned the APC to stop playing with the emotions, destiny and future of our youths and take action to address the industrial action immediately so that our children can go back to their classes.
11. NEC condemned in very strong terms the mass looting of our national treasury and diversion of public funds through orchestrated purchase of APC Presidential Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms by all manner of persons at excessive N100 million to warehouse slush funds for APC to rig the 2023 general elections. We restate our demand to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate all APC Presidential aspirants in this regard.
12. NEC restated the call by the Party for the immediate resignation, arrest and prosecution of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, for alleged manipulations and financial impropriety in the CBN which contributed to the collapse of our national economy.
13. NEC vehemently rejected the continued stay of Mr. Emefiele as CBN Governor after being confirmed as a card-carrying member of the APC. The CBN is the custodian and keeper of all INEC sensitive materials used in all elections. Having been confirmed as a member of the APC, Mr. Emefiele, can no longer be trusted with INEC sensitive materials which are key to the guarantee of free, fair and credible elections.
14. NEC assures Nigerians that the PDP is resolute in taking very firm legitimate series of action in the march to restore and protect the sanctity of our Central Bank and electoral process
15. After a very extensive deliberation NEC aligned with the recommendation of the PDP National Zoning Committee that the Presidential Election should now be left open. The Party should also work towards consensus candidate where possible.
NEC noted the recommendation of the Zoning Committee that in the interest of justice and fair play, the Party should take decision on Zoning timeously so as to prevent complications to the process.
Presidential Primary and National Convention
16. NEC ratified the conduct of the Presidential Primary (Special National Convention) to elect our Party’s Presidential Candidate on Saturday May 28 to Sunday May 29, 2022 in Abuja
17. NEC approved the setting up of the National Convention Organizing Committee and approved the appointment of His Excellency, Senator David Mark as Chairman, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as Deputy Chairman and His Excellency Barr. Ibrahim Shema as Secretary.
18. NEC assured of free, fair, credible and transparent processes for the emergence of our Party’s Candidates for all elective positions in the 2023 general elections.
Hon. Debo Ologunagba
National Publicity Secretary
Calls for zoning jettisoned
Prior to the meeting, there were expectations that the party would zone its presidential ticket to the southern part of the country and there were calls by party leaders and supporters for it to do just that.
To determine what to do about the calls, on March 24, the PDP’s National Working Committee inaugurated a zoning committee led by Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom.
The committee was tasked with the responsibility of ensuring fair distribution of the party’s elective offices across the country. It concluded its sittings on April 5 but was silent on its recommendation.
Four days later, southern governors elected on the platform of the party demanded that the presidential ticket be zoned to the region.
They kicked against the reports that the zoning committee had recommended an open contest for the top post, arguing that doing so would be deemed unjust and must be rescinded.
Their demand was not granted as NEC has decided to make it an open contest, opening the door for all those who have shown interest in running for the country’s top position on the party’s platform.
So, far Nigerians from the north and south have indicated an interest in the presidential ticket of the party.
Among those aspiring for the ticket are former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governor Nyesome Wike of Rivers State, former Senate President Bukola Saraki, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, and Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi.