….Say justice, equity must be done
By Folorunso Alagbede, Abuja
As controversy rages over the zoning of the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Governors elected on the platform of the party from the Southern part of the country, have insisted that the presidential ticket of the party must be zoned to the South.
This, the Southern Governors maintained, was necessary in the interest of equity and justice.
Speaking with journalists at the end of a crucial meeting in Abuja at the weekend, the PDP Governors from the Southern part of the country, tasked the national leadership of the party to respect the zoning principle as enshrined in its constitution.
The outcome of the 37-member PDP zoning committee, headed by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State is still being awaited.
Speaking at the end of the meeting which was attended by six of the Governors, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, pointed out that the first thing to do is to zone the presidency to the South.
The Governors, while expressing their commitment to to the unity of the PDP, pledged to work hard to make sure that the party remains a strong and viable vehicle to rescue Nigeria come 2023.
The Governors said, “We have watched with keen interest the development in our party especially concerning the zoning.
“And our position is that first, we are committed to the unity of our party and we have worked hard to make sure that this party remains strong and viable vehicle to rescue Nigeria come 2023.
“Be that as it may, I want to draw your attention to the fact that we had agreed, as Southern Governors in Lagos and also in Delta States, that this party has to respect the zoning principle as enshrined in our Constitution.
“And to that effect, we insist that the first thing to do is to zone the presidency to the South and we stand on that position.
“We have not seen any reason to change that position, because the party was founded on the basis of equity and justice and we also think that equity and justice is an important pillar that will ultimately stabilize our polity towards our journey in rescuing Nigeria”, they said.
Responding to a question as to issue of PDP throwing open its presidential ticket open to all zones after about sixteen presidential aspirants from all zones have purchased their expression of interest and nomination forms, the PDP Southern Governors responded, “If you want to take a decision on policy, you don’t look at problems on their face and you take a decision, you take a decision and remain firm on that decision.
“We think that what this country lacks today is our ability to dispense equity and justice. It may be difficult, it may be a bitter pill, but we need to stand with the truth”.
Reminded that some PDP presidential aspirants are similarly meeting on the possibility of a consensus candidate for the party, the Abia State Governor said, “I want to reiterate what the position of the southern governors on this matter is. It is not my duty to speculate on what others are doing.
“But you must ask yourself, what is the truth that if we do it today, we will serve the tenets of equity and justice?
Aside Dr Ikpeazu, other Governors at the meeting were; Barrister Nyeson Wike, Rivers, Mr Udom Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Enugu State, Mr Seyi Makinde, Oyo State and Senator Duoye Diri, Bayelsa State.
However, the Governors Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State and Mr Godwin Obaseki, Edo State were absent at the meeting.