The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 96th National Executive Committee (NEC) has ended the long wait, and has thrown open the contest for the party’s presidential ticket.
NEC then appointed the former President of the Senate, David Mark, as Chairman 2023 National Convention Planning Committee slated for May 28 and 29.
The Bauchi state Governor, Bala Mohammed, led the committee which reviewed the PDP performance during the 2019 general election and had sometimes last year recommended that the 2023 ticket be thrown open.
Not satisfied with Mohammed’s committee, the party’s NEC swiftly inaugurated 37-man zoning committee on the March 24, 2022.
After three consecutive meetings, it was reported earlier that the committee recommended that the 2023 ticket be thrown open.
Though governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state debunked the report, and said their position would be made known by the NEC which gave them the assignment.
With this latest development, the 15 aspirants who purchased the party’s 2023 presidential forms and survived the screening are free to contest regardless of the zone they hail from.
Briefing journalists at the end of the NEC meeting, Wednesday, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, also disclosed that the party convention will hold in Abuja.
He said, “After a very extensive deliberation NEC aligned with the recommendation of the PDP national zoning committee that the presidential election should now be left open. The party should also work towards a consensus candidate where possible.
“NEC noted the recommendation of the zoning committee that in the interest of justice and fair play, the party should take decision on zoning timeously to prevent complications to the process.
“NEC ratified the conduct of the Presidential Primary (Special National Convention) to elect our Party’s Presidential Candidate on Saturday, May 28 to Sunday, May 29, 2022, in Abuja.”
Earlier in his remarks, PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, stressed the need for party leaders to remain united.
He said, “The spirit of the party, we’re not only getting more united, we’re also working harder. And I believe that with this spirit, we’ll do very well in the forthcoming elections and nothing will stop us from taking over power come May next year.
“So, I urge you all to continue with same the enthusiasm to resolve differences within the party among ourselves to make sure we work hard at the grassroots level with the same enthusiasm we displayed here in Abuja.”
On his part, Chairman PDP Governors Forum and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, assured that they will do everything legally possible to rescue and rebuild Nigeria.
“I assure you, Mr Chairman, as your governors, we are always ready to continue to give you every support that is required for our party to emerge successful in the general elections, starting with Congresses at various levels,” he said.