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2023: Gov Emmanuel, Obi promise to abide by PDP position on zoning



Two presidential aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Udom Emmanuel and Peter Obi, said on Friday the decision of the party on the zoning of its presidential ticket was supreme.

The duo stated this in a chat with journalists shortly after their screening by the PDP Presidential Screening Committee headed by former Senate President, David Mark, in Abuja.

Emmanuel, who is the governor of Akwa Ibom State, joined the presidential race this week while Obi declared his intention last month.

They said the party’s decision on zoning of political offices would be obeyed by all aspirants, once it is announced.

While fielding questions from journalists on the recent decision of the Southern governors that the presidency should be zoned to the South, Emmanuel simply said the “party is supreme.”

“Party is supreme, if the party has spoken we will all abide by what the party says,” he said.

The governor, however, added that the PDP delegates to the national convention would determine the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.

He also ruled out problems arising at the party presidential primaries because of the 17 aspirants vying for the ticket.

He said: “If there were not many aspirants, I would have been worried. Honestly, that is where it would have been boring.

“You see this as a new spirit, a new wave of PDP, where everybody is allowed to express himself or herself.

“So allow us to express ourselves on that day at wherever the venue will be.

“I think the delegates will determine who will rescue and restore this country.

READ ALSO: 2023: Fayose withdraws from PDP zoning committee

“But trust me, whoever they will bring up as the candidate of the party will be one of the best that this country has ever produced, because look at the people that we are parading, who are aspirants.

“I think it is just one of the best that we are waiting for.

“I want to believe that so many things are to my own advantage.

“Because if you look at my antecedents, my training, my capacity and above all, I think, age is also on my side, because the problem with Nigeria today needs a very strong, agile young man.

“All around, I think so many factors are in my favour and that will be decided by the electorate on the primaries.”

On his part, the former Anambra State governor said the party had the final say on the zoning but should consider the yearnings of Nigerians.

He said: “The party has the final say. I can’t have a thought; I’m a member of a party. If the party members say this is where they want the party to go, if you’re a member of an organisation, you respect that organisation.

“That is why I said, whatever we do, the most critical thing is what we must do to pull Nigerians out of poverty and create a future for teeming unemployed youths of Nigeria.

“We must change our polity and change to what other nations are doing and that is building a better nation for their people.

“We cannot go on around things that were yesterday. Let’s think about tomorrow. How come that a great nation such as Nigeria is not doing well? Simple: Changing from consumption to production.”

There were insinuations last month that PDP had jettisoned the zoning arrangement and opted to throw the presidential contest open for all the aspirants to test their strength at the primary.

However, the Chairman of the PDP Zoning Committee, Samuel Ortom, in a chat with journalists at the end of its meeting held on March 24 in Abuja, insisted that the committee has not taken a definite position on the zoning.

He added that the committee would forward its report to the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) at the end of its assignment.

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