Leaders of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the North yesterday rose from a meeting in Abuja, insisting that the region must produce the party’s flag bearer for the 2019 general elections.
The politicians dismissed as immaterial the recent declaration by Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose for the nation’s number one seat at the upcoming polls.
Former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana, who convened the meeting, asked the party to elect the best candidates in accordance with its zoning formula.
His words: “I want to appeal to you to give to the party the very best in the positions that have been zoned to us. Let us therefore give to the party, men and women of impeccable integrity.
“ Whatever the Fayoses of this world may be doing, the party has resolved that the presidential candidate will come from one of the three zones in the North.”
The party’s caretaker national chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, lauded the delegates for the meeting, noting that their sacrifice was a pointer to their unflinching loyalty to the PDP project.
Makarfi reiterated the commitment of the party to honour its zoning agreement, stressing that those bent on indicating interest in elective positions should not be barred from doing so provided that the zoning formula was respected.
“The Port Harcourt convention remains valid and one of the decisions taken at that event was zoning. Micro-zoning does not have binding effect,” he stated.
Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party, Senator Walid Jubrin, charged members on respect for zoning arrangements.Former Acting National Chairman, Dr. Bello Haliru, called for sanctions, noting that zoning and rotation of offices had always been given a pride of place in the affairs of the party.To former Senate President, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, PDP must put an end to impunity and dictatorship as the party steps up preparations for the convention.
Present at the meeting were former governors, Ibrahim Idris, Idris Wada (Kogi), Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina) and erstwhile Ministers, Abba Moro (Internal Affairs), Adamu Maina Waziri (Police Affairs), Kabiru Turaki (Special Duties) and Zainab Maina (Women Affairs).
Others were Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu, former National Woman Leader, Ina Ciroma and ex- National Organising Secretary of the party, Professor Ahmed Rufai Alkali.