A file photo of the PDP emblem.
The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has opted to throw the contest for its presidential ticket open rather than zone it to a particular region of the country.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, announced this decision while briefing reporters at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He informed reporters that the decision formed part of the resolutions reached at the end of the 96th PDP NEC meeting well attended by various party leaders.
Prior to the meeting, there have been increased calls by party leaders and supporters that the PDP should zone its presidential ticket to the southern region of the country.
But the PDP NEC has settled to make it a free-for-all contest, allowing aspirants from various parts of the country to participate in the primary scheduled to hold later this month.
Ahead of the general elections to be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2023, various aspirants have indicated their interest in the highest political office in the land.
They include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governor Nyesome Wike of Rivers State, former Senate President Bukola Saraki, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, and Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi, among others.
On March 24, the PDP National Working Committee inaugurated the zoning committee led by Governor Samuel Ortom amid debates and controversy over where the party’s presidential candidate should emerge.
The committee was tasked with the responsibility of ensuring fair distribution of the party’s elective offices across the country.
Two weeks after the committee was inaugurated, southern governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demanded that the party’s presidential ticket be zoned to the region.
They kicked against the purported recommendation of the PDP Zoning Committee that the slot be thrown open for all to contest, saying any attempt to throw the presidential ticket open would be deemed to be unjust and must be rescinded.