[From CHINEDU NWAFOR, Abakaliki]
Ebonyi State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said it won’t tolerate any attempt by the Party to deny the Southeast zone the presidential ticket of the party in 2023.
The party also warned against tampering with the second term of the party’s national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, insisting he deserved a second term, having performed satisfactorily well.
The State chairman of the Party, Barrister Onyekachi Nwebonyi, made this known on Tuesday when he brief Journalists alongside other members of the State Executive of the Party at the party’s Secretariat along Enugu/Abakaliki express way.
The Ebonyi PDP further demanded that the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party must be convened within one week to consider zoning the presidency to the Southeast.
“In the event that these demands are not met, Ebonyi State Chapter of the PDP will not accept any other arrangement as that might cause apathy among the teaming supporters of the party in the state,” the party added.
Recall that the Ebonyi State House of Assembly held a press conference where they gave the national leadership of the party seven days to convene the NEC meeting of the party and zone the presidential position of the party to the Southeast zone.
This is coming on the heels of the rumors making the round that Governor David Umahi is planning to dump the PDP for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party further said the Southeast had capable and credible personalities to take up the presidential position of the party, adding that the Southeast zone had supported the PDP since 1999 and for equity and fairness, the zone must not be denied its rights in 2023.
Asked why the demand was coming now, Barr. Nwebonyi noted that the body languages of the powers that be in PDP indicated they had no plans to give the presidential position of the party to the zone.
“The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State is formidable and stands for equity and fairness. We are intact and will always work for the progress of the party and for the party to regain power at the center if power brokers in the party’s fold would allow justice, equity, and fairness to take precedence in driving the objectives and ideologies of the party.
“With regard to the aforesaid, Ebonyi State PDP will stand fully in support of Prince Uche Secondus for a second term as national chairman of the party. We therefore enjoin the party, in whatever arrangement not to tamper with the seat of the national chairman. Having performed satisfactorily well; leading the party to epochal victories, Secondus deserves a second term. That is non-negotiable.
“We wish to also urge the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP to consider zoning the presidency to the Southeast. This should be done within a week as INEC has announced the date for the 2023 presidential election. The Southeast has notable personalities who have performed exceedingly well in public service. Of course, we apparently have the best brains in the country.
“We have the likes of Senator Pius Anyim, Dr. Peter Obi, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Senator Theodore Orji, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who have accolades that speak volumes. There are other capable dignitaries many of who occupy public positions currently who have performed well and can be president of this country.
“Since the inception of this democratic dispensation, PDP has never thrown its presidential ticket open to all zones. It has always been rotated between the south and the north. In that arrangement, the Southeast has always delivered every presidential candidates of the party at the polls. In 1999 and 2003 presidential elections, Obasanjo all won in the Southeast.
“In 2007 Yar’Adua won in the Southeast and Jonathan too won in 2011 and 2015. Also in 2019, Atiku Abukakar won the presidential election in the Southeast with a wide margin. It is therefore a crass show of hypocrisy if the PDP denies the Southeast that chance. To that effect, we do vehemently demand that the NEC meeting of the PDP be convened within one week to ratify the issue and zone the presidential ticket of the party to the Southeast.
“In the event that these demands are not met, Ebonyi State Chapter of the PDP will not accept any other arrangement as that might cause apathy among the teaming supporters of the party in the state. The tradition of the party should be maintained, as we can’t allow the legitimate yearning of the Southeast people to be swept under the carpet going by the recent pronouncement of the national leadership of the PDP which suggests that the Southeast will not enjoy the benefits of zoning which other zones have enjoyed. A stitch in time saves nine,” the statement read.