By Myke Uzendu, Abuja
Despite agitation that the South-East should take a shot at the presidency, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) committee for the Review of the 1999 general elections yesterday recommended the jettisoning of zoning for the most competent aspirant.
The committee further recommended that competent women and youths should also be given more opportunity to participate in governance and political process ahead of 2023 general election.
The recommendations were contained in the report of the PDP 2019 Election Review Committee which was submitted by the Chairman of the Committee chairman and governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed to the party’s leadership on Wednesday at it’s National Secretariat, Abuja.
The committee comprising of twelve members recommended that the party should consider competence and capacity of all Nigerians from every geopolitical zone in the choice of the next presidential candidate.
“In line with certain unwritten conventions of the nation’s history, many people think that, for fairness and equity, the North East and South East geo-political zones that have had the shortest stints at the Presidency, should be given special consideration, in choosing the presidential flag bearer of the party, for the 2023 elections.
“While we admit that this is a strong argument, we should not lose sight of the fact that Nigeria is endowed with many capable and very experienced leaders in every part of the country. Moreover, the exigencies of the moment demand that nothing should be compromised in choosing the leader, with the attributes to disentangle the country from the present quagmire.
“Therefore, we think that every Nigerian, from every part of the country, should be given the opportunity to choose the best candidate, through a credible primary election; as a way of institutionalising a merit-based leadership recruitment process, for the country” the committee recommended.
The committee further recommended for the adoption of 2014 CONFAB report or constitutional review so as to prepare the ground for the restructuring of the country.
“The endemic frictions in inter-governmental relations, especially between the states and the Federal Government, suggest that the present constitutional arrangement is grossly inadequate to contend with changing democratic and demographic challenges. Our party must therefore push for either a review and endorsement of the 2014 Constitutional Conference Report or for a new constitutional conference to be organised.
“In short, the party should advocate for genuine restructuring that fosters decentralisation, engenders national unity, guarantees security of lives and properties of all Nigerians no matter where they reside in the country and which promotes economic prosperity and the overall well-being of all our people”.
The governor appealed on the party to commit itself to the implementation of the report instead of allowing gather dust on the shelf.
He said that Nigerians ever than before are yearning for the return of the party following the failure of the ruling party to provide lead for national development.
He said that highlight of the report was that a percentage of elective positions must be reserved for youths and women as well as the enthronement of party democracy.
He said that the party leadership must lead by example and see themselves as image of the party that must walk the talk.
The Committee further recommended that the report should be considered along side the Ike Ekeremmdu Committee that took a most mortem of the 2015 general election.
Also in his address, National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus said that the party will implement the recommendations of the precepts by precepts.
“Relying on the recommendations of this report, the NWC will work with think tanks, consultants and all critical stakeholders of our great Party to enhance the new PDP narratives that will help address the yawning absence of leadership in the country. We will continue to build the party along the line of the recommendations with a view to cultivating wide support base with utmost urgency towards 2023.
“I have no doubt in my mind that your report will form the bedrock of our party’s plan ahead of 2023 general elections. The NWC is going to study and analyze your report meticulously and come up with a position that will be beneficial to the party” Secondus stated.
Giving a backdrop on the formation of the committee National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu, said that the committee was set up after the party lost the presidential election in 2019 after running a robust election.
He said that PDP was the only party that filled candidates in all 1,597 positions during the election. He claimed that PDP clearly won the Presidential election just as it captured 15 governorship seats, 46 Senate, 142 House of Representative seats as well as 392 state assembly positions.
He claimed that party was believed to have won the election but unfortunately was not declared winner.
The event was attended by the leadership of the party including members of the National Working Committee (NWC) and members of the party’s Board of Trustee (BoT).
Other members include Attendance Senator Bukola Saraki, Babangida AliyuSen. Ike Ekweremmadu, Sen. Eyinnaya Abaribe, Chief Tom Ikimi including Sen. Abiodun Olujimi among others.