A sociopolitical group, Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has condemned the decision of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to throw open its 2023 presidential ticket instead of zoning it to the southern part of the country, insisting that the next president must come from the South.
For PANDEF, PDP is throwing away its best chance of toppling APC in the 2023 general election.
The group’s National Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson, said the decision by PDP’s Zoning Committee led by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State which arrived at the decision, was ill-advised and allegedly acted on a planned script.
“It is an awful decision and there will be consequences. But we are not utterly surprised at the development”, PANDEF said, adding, ‘’the outcome was predictable; there were evident-pointers that this would be the conclusion.
“Governor Ortom’s Committee has a script and they have played it out with due deference to some patriots that were in the Committee. The level of desperation and political debauchery being demonstrated by some political stakeholders is deplorable and quite disappointing.
“Regrettably, we are in a society where it seems anything goes. We will await the conduct of the presidential primaries by the parties to assess the choices that would be presented to us.”
Before now, the group took on the National Executive Committee (NEC) of PDP for throwing open the contest for the party’s 2023 presidential ticket, stressing that the decision is tantamount to the party digging its own grave and giving APC a predetermined victory.
The decision, according of the Forum, was against the principle of oneness on which the foundation of the Nigerian state was built.
“By this decision, PDP has simply dug its own grave. Sadly, this is a party whose Constitution unequivocally commits to the Policy of rotation and zoning of Party and Public elective offices in pursuance of the principles of equity, justice and fairness.
“The opinion that PDP is not obligated to zone its presidential ticket for the 2023 election, is preposterous and illogical, likewise, the implied consideration that it’s only a northern candidate that can secure victory for the party in the 2023 presidential election.
“Do we need to remind PDP that former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Jonathan are not northerners, who both won presidential elections for the PDP in 1999, 2003, and 2011 respectively?
“It bears stating that the presidency is not the presidency of a party; it is the presidency of Nigeria. The fact that President Muhammadu Buhari is of the All Progressives Congress is extraneous.
“PANDEF expects APC to take advantage of the awful indiscretion of PDP to consolidate itself as a truly nationalistic party, committed to the unity, peace and progress of Nigeria, by ensuring the emergence of a southern presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.
“PANDEF notes that Nigeria is a great country of outstanding men and women, with incredible possibilities; we cannot afford to fritter the labours of our heroes, past and present, by allowing rapacious politicians to callously and carelessly jettison arrangements and understandings that have sustained the oneness and stability of the country over the years, now.”