A group of eminent Nigerians from the South-East geopolitical zone under the auspices of the Igbo Leadership Development Foundation has threatened to mobilise their people to dump the Peoples Democratic Party if it fails to zone the 2023 presidency to the region.
The group stated this in a statement read to journalists in Abuja on Thursday by its Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Law Mefor.
Others who also signed the statement are Dr. Godwin Udibe (Chairman) and Onyebuchi Obeta (National Secretary).
The group vowed to drag the PDP to the court of competent jurisdiction if it failed to stick to its constitution which provides for a rotational presidency.
The group expressed deep regrets about the recommendation of the Governor Bala Mohammed-led Committee set up by the PDP to review the party’s performance in the 2019 presidential election.
The group said, “In summary, the review panel recommended the scrapping of zoning for the PDP presidential ticket in 2023.
“The PDP after receiving the panel’s report set up what it called a technical committee to review the report and get ready for adoption.
“We are aware of the surreptitious moves within the party to zone its presidential ticket to the North.
“That explains why the Bala Mohammed Committee mentioned North East particularly for consideration if zoning must be contemplated at all by the party.
“For those who missed the panel’s report, permit us to refresh your minds with some excerpts, and we note: the Bala-led Committee predicated this wacky decision on the need to get the best hands to pilot Nigeria.
“Bala’s speech read in part: “In line with certain unwritten conventions of the nation’s history, many people think that for fairness and equity, the North-East and South-East geo-political zones that have had the shortest stints at the Presidency should be given special consideration in choosing the presidential flag bearer of the party for the 2023 election.
“While we admit that this is a strong argument, we should not lose sight of the fact that Nigeria is endowed with many capable and very experienced leaders in every part of the country.
“Moreover, the exigencies of the moment demand that nothing should be compromised in choosing the leader with the attributes to disentangle the country from the present quagmire.
“Therefore, we think that every Nigerian from every part of the country should be given the opportunity to choose the best candidate through a credible primary election, as a way of institutionalizing a merit-based leadership recruitment process for the country.
“We therefore believe that this panel’s report, contradicted itself and threw both caution and constitution of the PDP into the gutter by recommending that PDP presidential ticket be open to all Nigerians, and an all-comers affair.”
The IDLF argued that the PDP constitution provides for rotational presidency and that the party must adhere strictly to it.