Stakeholders clash with PDP governors over zoning

By Dirisu Yakubu

Ahead of the National Elective Convention of the People’s Democratic Party on October 31, the PDP, party leaders and stakeholders will face off against 13 party governors, especially for the post of PDP national chairman.

It was then that Vanguard realized that key offices of the National Working Committee, NWC, had been micro-shared across the six geopolitical zones.

North Central will produce the National President, National Treasurer, and National Legal Counsel.

In the existing NWC, the North Central holds the positions of National Secretary of Finance and National Secretary of Publicity.

The Southwest, which currently has the positions of National Vice-President (South) and National Treasurer in its kitty, will produce the party’s national advertising secretary.

The South-South currently holds the positions of National President and Legal Advisor while the South-East holds the positions of National Organizing Secretary and National Youth Leader.

In the outgoing NWC, the North East holds the positions of National Vice President (North), National Leader and National Auditor, while the North West holds the position of National Secretary.

On the tension generated by the new zoning formula, the party caucus in the National Assembly, the former governors’ forum as well as many other prominent northern leaders are unhappy with what some have called the unilateral decision of the governors of impose them will be part of the zoning committee.

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It should be recalled that the National Convention Zoning Committee of the party led by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, last Thursday after a meeting in Abuja, recommended the exchange of NWC positions so that those held by the North are taken over by the South and vice versa.

It was learned that a significant number of aggrieved members also threatened to protest the zoning formula at the party’s 94th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting scheduled for Thursday.

An NEC member who spoke to Vanguard accused the governors of using the zoning committee to craft their earlier plan to prevent active NWC members from being re-elected at the October 30/31 convention.

Quoting Article 47 (1) of the PDP Constitution, he revealed that if the NEC approved the zoning formula proposed by the committee headed by Ugwuanyi, it could prepare new disputes that could affect the holding of the convention.

Article 47 (1) of the PDP constitution reads as follows:
“All national, zonal, state, local and local officers of the party will hold office for a term of four years and will be re-eligible for another term and no more”

He said: “What the governors are trying to do is a serious violation of the PDP constitution which guarantees the right to be re-elected for every active member of the NWC. They raised this issue at one of the NEC meetings but were seriously opposed and defeated.

“By suggesting that NWC positions held by Northerners be exchanged for positions in the South, they automatically prevented all serving NWC members from being re-elected. For example, what if the incumbent National President wants to be re-elected to the same position? What if the current National Organizing Secretary wishes to be re-elected to the same post? You will find that these people cannot do it because their posts have been removed from their zones, ”he stressed.

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