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Showing Balls, Southern Governors Insist On Zoning PDP Presidential Ticket To South, Rattling Northern Power Brokers

The Oasis Reporters

April 10, 2022


Southern Governors meeting in Asaba, across Party lines. File photo.

It was quite a bit of a novelty that southern Nigerian governors would actually meet. What Nigeria had previously known since the days of General Yakubu Gowon was a northern Governors meeting. They would often take their position on issues and foist it on the entire country. Intimidated southern Governors would swallow hard in their disunity, and accept the anomaly.


That continued through the military regimes and into democracy. During the tenure of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, it got so bad that foreign governments would invite northern Governors abroad for meetings where they would even plot against Jonathan.


Fed up, southern Governors quietly closed ranks and kick-started their meeting with maiden one at Asaba, Delta State.

And their meeting was so surreptitiously held that the entire country was taken aback. In their meeting, they took certain positions, amongst which was the insistence that after eight years of Muhammadu Buhari as president, equity demands the the South should president the next president.

To reinforce that demand, PDP governors expressed their position on the issue of zoning. They want the People’s Democratic Party, PDP to zone the presidential ticket to the “Southern part of Nigeria for equity and fairness”.

The governors expressed their position on the issue of zoning while briefing journalists after their meeting on Friday night at Akwa-Ibom Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja.

The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, speaking on behalf of the governors, said they had watched with keen interest developments in PDP regarding zoning, but they had no reason to change their earlier stand.

“Our position is that first, we are committed to the unity of our party and we have worked hard to make sure that this party remains a strong and viable vehicle to ‘rescue’ Nigeria come 2023.

“Be that as it may, we want to draw your attention to the fact that we have agreed as Southern Governors in Lagos and also in Delta that this party has to respect the zoning principle as enshrined in our Constitution.


“And to that effect, we feel that the best thing to do is zone the presidency to the South, and we stand on that position.


“We have not seen any reason to change our position, because the party was founded on the basis of equity and justice.

“We also think that equity and justice are important pillars that will ultimately stabilise our politics towards our journey in rescuing Nigeria,” Mr Ikpeazu said.

Asked if the governors would reconsider their position if making the party’s ticket open would allow PDP win in 2023, Mr Ikpeazu said “you haven’t told me why zoning will not give us victory.”


Also fielding questions on speculations that the PDP zoning committee has already made the ticket open, Mr Ikpeazu said that the southern governors do not work on speculations.

The PDP zoning committee led by Governor Samuel Ortom has concluded its assignment and submitted its report to the National Executive Council of the party.


Samuel Ortom is a PDP governor of Benue State in the northern region of Nigeria. He chaired the zoning committee.

Although the committee did not formally announce its decision, speculations are rife that they have recommended an open field for all the presidential aspirants.

The PDP currently has 14 presidential aspirants, who have all purchased their nomination forms, from the north and south of Nigeria.

On arguments that the PDP ticket was made open because of the number of aspirants that had purchased forms or the need to retain the ticket in the north, Mr Ikpeazu said that the party must be firm in its decision and do whatever is seen to be true and fair.

“Let me tell you something, if you want to take a position of policy, you don’t look at problems in their face and take decisions. You take a decision and remain firm on that decision.

“We think that what this country is lacking today is our ability to dispense equity and justice. It may be difficult, it may be a bitter pill but we need to stand with the truth.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at the meeting were governors of Enugu, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Abia and Oyo states.

However, a PDP quartet of governors and politicians have been touring state government houses in the South trying hard to convince the southern Governors to ditch their insistence and allow an open contest. This is suspected to be an ingenious way to retain power in the north after Buhari’s 8 years with the Insecurity problem ravaging mostly the north more, unsolved.

The PDP quartet from the north have been visiting government houses in the South unsmilingly trying hard to convince the southern Governors to ditch their resolution. They are here with Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde.


L-R: Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; former Kwara state governor who is also former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; Muhammed Hayatu-Deen, and Bauchi State Governor, Bala Muhammed, during a visit by PDP presidential aspirants to Governor Obaseki, in Benin City, on Monday, April 4th, 2022.

Another curious aspect is that the political quartet are Fulani, who have always largely held power on behalf of the north that has over a hundred tribes who mostly feel suppressed. The quartet did not make any attempt to include at least one Christian or one non Fulani politician who could be a former governor.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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