2023: PDP may retain 2016 zoning formula for national chair, 20 other positions


There are strong indications that leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party seeking the retention of the party’s presidential ticket in the North are gaining the upper hand.

In furtherance of this objective, they are pushing for the retention of the 2016 zoning arrangement for the 21 available National Working Committee positions.

SUNDAY PUNCH gathered on Saturday, that as customary since the formation of the PDP in 1998, party positions will be shared between the North and the South after which the zones will work out details on micro zoning.

A source familiar with the development who pleaded anonymity for fear of retribution said, “A lot of attention is being placed on who becomes National Chairman.

“However, some of our leaders are also paying more than a passing interest in other positions considering recent happenings within the party.

“For instance, the position of the two Deputy National Chairman (North and South), will also be keenly contested for this time around.

“Unless something changes, we are likely going to retain the formula we used in 2016. Incidentally, it was a governor from the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, who was then a member of our party who chaired the zoning committee at the time.”

Under the 2016 arrangement, the following positions were zoned to the North: Deputy National Chairman 2, National Secretary, National Financial Secretary, National Publicity Secretary, National Auditor and National Woman Leader.

Others were Deputy National Treasurer, Deputy National Organising Secretary, Deputy National Youth Leader, Deputy National Legal Adviser and Deputy National Secretary.

While the South had the positions of National Chairman, Deputy National Chairman 1, National Treasurer, National Legal Adviser, National Youth Leader and National Organising Secretary.

Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Deputy National Woman Leader, Deputy National Auditor and Deputy National Financial Secretary, were equally zoned to the South.

The 44-member zoning committee for the October 30-31, 2021 National Convention, chaired by the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, met in Enugu last Wednesday and Thursday.

It however announced that it would reconvene on Thursday to take a final decision and submit a report to the Convention Committee for onward transmission to NEC for ratification.

When contacted, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Diran Odeyemi, said the PDP was prepared to once again prove to Nigerians that it was ready to return to its rightful place on the driver’s seat.

According to him, the PDP has been consistent in its pan-Nigerian outlook in its composition and disposition.

He said, “We as members of this great party are confident that our Zoning Committee will do a thorough job after which those who wish to contest for any of the positions zoned to them will do so.”

Asked if he was interested in seeking election into the new NWC, Odeyemi said, “Definitely. When the zoning committee concludes its assignment and submits a report and it is approved by the National Executive Committee, I will consult with the leaders of our party in my zone and contest for any of the NWC positions zoned to us.

“I have worked as a deputy for four years and without sounding immodest, I have learnt a lot about party politics which I can deploy for the benefit of not only our zone but Nigeria as a whole.”

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