News Politics

PDP Has Not Thrown Presidential Ticket Open, Bode George Says Amid Brewing Crisis

A stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Chief Bode George, who was also a member of the zoning committee, has said that the opposition party has not thrown its presidential ticket open.

George said this to newsmen on Wednesday, stressing that the PDP constitution mandates zoning and that it would be unjust for it to be thrown open.

The PDP chieftain also rejected claims by northern stakeholders in the party that the South has ruled Nigeria longer than the North since 1999.

“Zoning is sacrosanct and I can confirm to you that the committee in its report did not throw the ticket open. Observations were made as well as recommendations and they will be forwarded to the National Executive Committee for a final decision.

“Those saying the South has ruled longer than the North are only being clever by counting from 1999. They should count from 1960. If you are counting, you should start from number one and not number eight,” he said.

This comes as CHECKPOINTCHALEY gathered that a crippling crisis is brewing within the PDP, and the party is now in a dilema after its zoning committee reportedly recommended throwing the ticket open.

A PDP chieftain from the South, who begged for anonymity, told CHECKPOINTCHARLEY that the party may as well forget the 2023 presidency if it fails to zone the ticket to the South.

“I guess my colleagues from the North have not realised the mood of the nation at the moment. The South is not ready for another eight years of northern presidency.

“Those who claim that they only want to do four years must understand that our people are not gullible. In fact, it is a slap on their faces to come up with such proposition.

“I personally hold the view that any notherner jostling to be president in 2023, simply does not love this country, but only himself. What our members from the North should be doing at the moment is to support the emergence of a southern president for peace to reign in the country.”

According to him, the leaders of his party are in a dilema on what to do. “If they throw the ticket open, and a northerner nicks it, they know what the reaction would be from southern voters.

“At the same time, they are wary of the fact that the PDP may also not do well in the North if a southerner emerges as the party’s flagbearer,” he said.

He however added that it should be the duty of the members from the North to work hard and sell a southern presidency to their people, “instead of using the numerical strenght of the North as a blackmail.”

He added, “Notwithstanding what they would what us to believe, if the South really comes together, they could win the presidency, even without the support of the core North.”

Meanwhile, in an interview on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme, former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, also insisted that the party’s ticket be zoned to the South.

“I don’t believe in not zoning, I didn’t contest in 2019 because PDP zoned the presidency to North,” he said.

Fayose, who was also a member of the zoning committee, also said the recommendation wasn’t for the ticket of the party to be thrown open. Rather, what was suggested was that there should be consensus because many people had already bought forms and it would be wrong to scheme them out.

“The last presidential primary in Port Harcourt was a northern affair. All the aspirants were from the North. So, when you talk about my not contesting the last time, I was told it was going to be a northern affair and that is why you had Saraki, Atiku, Tambuwal and all of them. There was no southerner. If we don’t begin to put things in perspective, our children will ask questions,” he added.

The former governor said the northern PDP contestants failed at the 2019 Presidential poll and had since lost their chance. He, therefore, maintained that 2023 must be the turn of the South.

He also pushed back claims that only the North could provide the PDP with the needed number of votes to win the 2023 elections.

Fayose pointed out that former Vice-president Atiku Abubakar won his home state of Adamawa by just 20,000 votes in the last Presidential election, while Governor Tambuwal won in Sokoto by a tiny margin.

“Atiku won in Adamawa by less than 20,000 votes. Go to Sokoto, what was the voting difference? We lost in Kwara. Let us look at the figures. Who is the person that can win?” he asked.

The ex-governor also snubbed calls for a consensus candidate, is being suggested by former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Governor Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Bauchi Governor, Bala Mohammed.

According to him, consensus was a dubious form of primary as evidenced by the All Progressives Congress’ national convention of last month.

In any case, a Southern PDP  presidential aspirant, Mr Peter Obi,  said on Wednesday in Abuja that he is not desperate to become the next president of Nigeria.

Obi made the clarification when he returned completed copies of his expression of interest and nominations forms to the PDP Secretariat in Abuja ahead of the April 8 deadline for the submission.

The former Anambra State governor said, seen by many voters as PDP’s most beautiful bride said, “Our country is now going through a difficult time. I am not desperate to be a president; I am desperate to see a better Nigeria.”

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