The National Zoning Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has announced that its next national chairman of the main opposition party will emerge from the northern region.
Except there is a fundamental turn-around, the implication of the recommendation, which goes to the National Executive Committee (NEC) for ratification, is that the Presidential candidate of the party will emerge from the South.
If the NEC approves the recommendation, the presidential ambitions of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, and other northerners may run into troubled waters. This in itself, analysts fear, can further fracture the embattled party that has lost Governors Ben Ayade (Cross River), David Umahi (Ebonyi), and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in recent times.
In a communique on Thursday, the committee, which had meetings in Enugu and Abuja said, “The decision of the PDP Zoning Committee is in line with the Constitution of the party on zoning and rotation of party and national offices in the interest of justice, equity, and fairness,” the statement read.
“Consequently, the current offices being held by officers in the southern zones of the country, namely South West, South East, and South South zones, should swap places with the offices currently in the northern zones of Nigeria, namely North West, North East, and North Central zones.”
Headed by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, and having Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, and Zamfara State Deputy Governor, Mahdi Mohammed, are deputy chairman and secretary respectively, it said its decision to zone the party’s offices does not in any way affect the executive and legislative offices in Nigeria, adding that the zoning of offices within the PDP has traditionally been between the North and South of the country.
“We shall pass on our recommendations to the National Executive Committee of the party through the National Working Committee of the party,” the communique added.