The national leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has zoned the Presidency to the North ahead of the 2019 presidential election. The party said it has learned its lessons and would never repeat any such mistake in future and has therefore drawn a roadmap for future electoral success.
This was part of the recommendations of Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu-led PDP Post- Election Review Committee, which recommended that in accordance with the popular views expressed in the submissions to the committee, the Presidency should be zoned to the North as it would also assuage any ill-feelings over any perceived breach of the party’s zoning principle.
The committee also recommended that, as a matter of urgency, if PDP must heal inflicted wounds, it should constitute a strong reconciliatory panel made up of party leaders to facilitate the reconciliation of aggrieved members at all levels.
It also recommended that the party reverts to the practice of having two deputy National Chairmen as entrenched in the 2001 Constitution of the PDP.
According to Ekweremadu, the committee also recommended that if the party must get it right, it should strip the President and governors of the role of party leader, against the backdrop that the title was not constitutional.
He said the move would allow for the party’s national chairman to take total control of the party as it used to be during the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN, when the National Chairman was supreme and highly respected, just as he said the committee also recommended the adoption of Direct Primaries to elect all party candidates for any election.
It also recommended that the party should, henceforth, be self-funding, relying on membership registrations and enforcement of dues and levies as its primary sources of income at all levels in line with its constitution, as this will stop the prevailing situation where those who paid the piper dictated the tune.
The Ekweremadu-led committee, which was inaugurated by the Acting National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, on May 5, and saddled with the responsibility of carrying out nine terms of reference, had 16 other members drawn from the NWC, National Assembly, Board of Trustees, BoT, among others.
Also Speaking in Abuja, yesterday, while receiving the committee, Acting National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, noted that the party was prepared to bounce back, having lost the March 28 Presidential election to All Progressives Congress, APC, after 16 years as the ruling party.
“The National Working Committee, NWC, has agreed to move this party forward. We will obey the principle of zoning and have agreed that in 2019, PDP presidential candidate will come from the north.
“NWC has agreed that we will never repeat the mistake of the past; we will follow the submissions made by this committee.
“By the time it passes through all organs of the party, we will implement the report to the letter. Today marks a turning point in our struggle in the last 16 years; we are now a robust opposition and our senators are in control of the National Assembly. We are the best organized party in the country.
“Some interest groups had tried to scuttle the committee. Our NWC will review and implement the recommendations that are very urgent to it. We need sacrifice, not display of inordinate ambition that will destroy us.
“Members must obey the constitution and follow the principle of zoning. With this, the party’s presidential candidate will come from the North. The party must go back to the principle of its founding fathers.”
The report submitted by Ekweremadu’s committee contained 24 recommendations.