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Former Senate President and presidential aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Anyim Pius Anyim has told stakeholders of the party that he has accepted the National Executive Committee (NEC) decision that threw open the party’s presidential ticket.
Speaking on Thursday, he told the forum of former National Working Committee (NWC) members who paid him a courtesy visit that he accepted the decision of the NEC because the party would always be supreme.
Africa Daily News, New York reports that he PDP NEC had on Wednesday, after several intrigues, threw open the contest for the party’s presidential ticket to all the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The NEC had noted that the zoning and rotational presidency provision in the PDP ‘is good and served the party well in the past.’
‘It should be affirmed and it is hereby affirmed. We must always try to enshrine justice justly and fairly. That it is in the interest of justice and fair play that the party should take decision on zoning timeously so as to prevent complications to the process as it is happening now,” the party’s NEC said in a communique. “In the light of the above, the presidential election should now be left open. However, the party should work towards a consensus candidate where possible.’
Anyim revealed that the party also asked the aspirants to commence talks on consensus.
‘I have already commenced talks with my fellow presidential aspirants on consensus since the party has recommended it. For now, zoning is to take the back seat for the general interest of the nation. Nigerians are waiting for the PDP, and we cannot afford to disappoint the nation,” stressed Anyim. “Nigerians won’t expect us to quarrel over the zoning issue as the ruling party is expecting. We will unite and move the country forward. Generations to come will not forgive the PDP if we fail.’
Former NWC members in the delegation included former national chairman Kawu Baraje, former women leader Kema Chikwe, ex-national publicity secretary Olisa Metu, ex-women leader Inna Ciroma and former national organising secretary Mohammed Mustapha, etc.
Speaking in a similar vein, another presidential aspirant, Sam Ohuabunwa, said, “We talk about zoning because we do not yet have a country. If we have a country, no one will be talking about zoning. We should be talking about building our nation that is why I’m presenting myself.”
Kassim Afegbua, however, dismissed the party’s decision as a travesty of justice, accusing its National Chairman, Iyiochia Ayu, of pandering to the whims of one of the presidential aspirants, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.