Southeast Okays Zoning Of PDP Ticket To South

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southeast has aligned with the positions of the party’s stakeholders in the SouthSouth and Southwest that Nigeria’s next President should come from the South.

The stance, which is also tandem with that of the Southern Governors’ Forum, was made known just as Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike formally confirmed his presidential ambition after meeting with Benue State PDP stakeholders in Makurdi.

SouthSouth and Southwest leaders of the PDP had at their separate meetings last week also reiterated the Southern Governors Forum’s insistence that the next Nigerian leader must be from the South.

Briefing reporters after the party’s Zonal Executive Committee (ZEC) meeting in Enugu yesterday, the National Vice-Chairman, Ali Odefa, said: “We stand with the resolution of the Southern Governors’ Forum that the Office of the Presidency should be zoned to the Southern part of Nigeria.”

He said that the ZEC also directed that the existing zoning patterns in states and constituencies in the Southeast must be strictly adhered to.

“We said where there are zoning patterns they must be strictly observed and adhered to in every state and constituency,” Odefa explained.

He added that the ZEC made also “interventions for our members who are holding political and elective positions in Anambra State who didn’t defect to other political parties in the time of the election but stood by the party (PDP) in times of bad weather to return to their various offices.”

Odefa said the zonal leadership of the PDP would make a presentation to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party for assistance in that regard.

The meeting was attended by Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); and National Secretary of the PDP Sam Anyanwu.

Members of the National Assembly from the zone, Houses of Assembly members in the zone as well as members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and Board of Trustees (BOT) from the zone were also in attendance.

On the issue of zoning at the state and constituency levels in the zone, the PDP National Vice Chairman stated: “We said where there are zoning patterns they must be strictly observed and adhered to in every state and constituency”.

Chief Odefa added: “We also went ahead to make interventions for our members who are holding political and elective positions in Anambra State who didn’t defect to other political parties during the election but stood by the party, that they should be given support to return to their various offices”.

Wike declares

Declaring his intention to vie for the nation’s number seat, Wike said his priority would be to tackle the festering insecurity in the country and engender rule of law.

“Let me thank the people of Benue for receiving me to come and talk to them. It is obvious that I am going to run for the presidency of this country.

I am declaring for the first time in Benue State because of my special relationship with them,” he said in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri

People are suspecting, but let it be known today that I am announcing it in Benue state because I have a special relationship with this state.”

Wike said he would do things differently if elected, explaining that he would pragmatically tackle insecurity.

He said Service Chiefs and heads of other security agencies would be provided with the requisite equipment and incentives to discharge their constitutional obligations.

The governor added that the Service Chiefs would be given a timeline to tackle the lingering insecurity as his administration would not be disposed to excuses.

His words: “Today (yesterday), you can’t talk about security in this country and you must understand that without security you can’t talk about governance.

“One first thing that anybody who takes the oath of office sworn to is that you must protect life and property.

“If you can’t protect life and property then you can’t talk about governance. So, the major thing is that our people should be alive.”

The governor, who condemned the terrorist attack at the Kaduna International Airport over the weekend, said Nigerians urgently needed a leader who could address the growing insecurity.

Wike assured that if elected, his administration would engender the rule of law to attract more direct foreign investment into the country.

He said: “Disregard for the rule of law by the present federal government has been one of the banes of direct foreign investment in the country.

“Nobody can bring investment in this country because there is no respect for the rule of law. Nobody obeys court orders.

“Who will come and invest his money when a court gives its judgment and it will not be obeyed? So, I am going to run for election and victory will be ours.”

Wike accused some presidential aspirants of being responsible for PDP’s failure in 2015.

“Those who want to be president now were the problems of the party in 2015. They ran away when the party needed them most. But I have stood and worked for this party.

“I have nowhere to run to because I take it personal that the party should not die. And I challenge anyone in a debate what they did for PDP,” he said.

The governor, while soliciting the support of delegates ahead of the PDP’s presidential primary, said he had all that was required to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Governor Samuel Ortom had while receiving Wike, pledged the support of the Benue people to his aspiration.

He said Wike had over time demonstrated real friendship and support to Benue State in times of need.

Source: The Nation

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