From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
A crisis is brewing in the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) following sharp disagreement by stakeholders over the zoning of the party ‘s 2023 presidential ticket.
The opposition party’s zoning committee chaired by Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, had reportedly recommended that the presidential ticket for the 2023 general elections should be thrown open to all qualified aspirants. However, the recommendation has caused some tension among leaders of the opposition party, with those from the South, including the governors, insisting that the 2023 presidential ticket must be zoned to the area in line with the party’s constitution.
Amidst rising tension, the opposition party has scheduled a meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) for Wednesday next week, to consider the Ortom panel report and come up with a position on whether or not to zone its presidential ticket for the 2023 polls. Nevertheless, the zoning controversy has assumed a new twist, with one of the presidential aspirants, Cosmas Ndukwe, filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja, over the issue. Ndukwe confirmed to Saturday Sun, in an interview, yesterday, in Abuja that he has filed a suit, asking the court to interpret the Article 7(3)(c) of the PDP constitution.
Article 7 (3)( c) stipulates that the party shall adhere “to the policy of the rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness.”
The presidential hopeful, who is also a former deputy speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, said he does not understand why the PDP would find it convenient to zone party offices, but would not be forthcoming on the zoning of elective offices as enshrined in its constitution.
“I think the court is there to interpret laws, interpret constitutions where it applies, I went for proper interpretation of section 7(3) sub c of our constitution and that’s all in line with zoning. It is not an issue of asking the court to do for me, but an issue of the party doing what is just and fair. We cannot pay such money, and what is supposed to be applied will not be applied. What our PDP constitution states is that the party will be fair enough to apply equity and justice in zoning, as regards all elective offices of the party, and that is just what I want interpretation on.
“If PDP zones their party offices aright, why won’t they do the same in the presidential slots in line with the constitution of the party? That’s just what made me go to court for interpretation. It is not like I am fighting anybody,” Ndukwe stated.
However, efforts to reach the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, was not successful as the time, of filing this report, as he did not respond to repeated calls to his mobile phone.