Three candidates have emerged as contenders for the position of National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the northern part of the country.
Each of the three zones in the region had individually produced a candidate to vie for the seat as it had been zoned there by the party.
The leaders of the party in the north-central zone had in a meeting on Tuesday, declared former Senate President, Iyorchia Ayu as their consensus candidate for the post of the party’s national chairman in the forthcoming convention in October.
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, briefing reporters after the meeting, said, “This is a stakeholders’ meeting of the central PDP in continuation of finding consensus candidates for the national chairmanship of a party.
“Looking for someone with the capacity with the commitment, love and passion for our party. We met here for several hours. Among the five persons that were contesting, the leadership of our party from North Central unanimously agreed to sponsor former Senate President Iyorchia Ayu as national chairman of our party. There was no voting, we all agreed that he is the right person for this job at this time.”
Following the development, stakeholders and chieftains of the party in the North-East region, after a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, picked Senator Abdul Ningi, a former deputy senate majority leader currently serving as the senator representing Bauchi Central senatorial district, as the zone’s consensus candidate for the national chairmanship position.
Speaking after Ningi’s emergence, the chairman of the National Convention Organising Committee and Adamawa state governor, Alhaji Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, said the decision came from robust engagement with party elders from the region.
Fintiri described Ningi as an experienced and loyal member of the party and vowed that North-East stakeholders would back him up to the hilt.
Also, the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed expressed confidence in the nominee’s capacity as an experienced lawmaker and politician.
Meanwhile, during the just-concluded North-West Expanded Caucus meeting of PDP chieftains on Wednesday, the former Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema emerged as the North-West’s consensus candidate for the post of the party’s national chairman after he polled the majority, winning six out of the seven states in the zone.
On September 9, the PDP leadership set up a national zoning committee to zone national offices to be contested by all PDP members.
The committee is headed by the Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, while the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, and Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Mahdi Mohammed, are deputy chairman and secretary, respectively.
After its inauguration, the committee zoned the national chairmanship of the party to the North, saying it was in line with the party’s Constitution on zoning, and rotation of party and national offices in the interest of justice, equity, and fairness.
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