Northern leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are insisting that the region must produce the presidential candidate in 2019.
The northern PDP leaders spoke at a meeting in Abuja, to harmonise the position of the zone, ahead of the party’s national convention.
They unanimous in their views that the zoning formular for the 2019 polls must be respected.
Penultimate week, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, declared interest in contesting for the party’s 2019 presidential ticket.
The meeting of PDP northern leaders was attended by Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibril, Ibrahim Shekarau, Boni Haruna, Babangida Aliyu, former governors of Kano, Adamawa and Niger states, respectively, as well as former members of the National Assembly, among others.
This meeting was held against the backdrop of Makarfi’s assurance that the zoning formula for the 2019 general election subsists.
In his address, Makarfi said the decision of the PDP national convention, which held in Port Harcourt, last year, and zoned the party’s presidential ticket to the North and national chairmanship to the South remains valid.
“If majority have a common position, you go to election, they will win, but that does not exclude others from exercising their rights.”
He said although some party leaders in the North and South are pushing for micro-zoning of the various positions zoned to their areas, “micro-zoning does not have binding effect.”
Earlier, in his welcome address, former minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, said the meeting would enable leaders of the zone brainstorm on how to present a common front at the national convention tentatively scheduled for December 9, 2017.
On the 2019 presidential poll, Gana said no matter what anyone thinks, PDP leadership has agreed that the North will produce the party’s presidential candidate.
“Whatever the Fayoses of this world may be doing, the party has resolved that the presidential candidate will come from one of the three zones in the North,” Gana said.
Similarly, Jibril corroborated Makarfi’s stand on the matter.
“Some people are making useless noise that they want to be president of the country in 2019. We know our position as a party,” Jibril dded.
Also, former acting national chairman of the PDP, Haliru Bello, said zoning and rotation has been part of the party and stressed the need for strict adherence.
“Zoning and rotation are part of the PDP constitution. We must adhere to them if we are to keep this party alive.
“There are people who are bent on contesting, whether the office is zoned to their place or not. This is disobedience…”