The Ebonyi state House of Assembly has given the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 7days from today to meet and zone the party’s presidential ticket to the Southeast geopolitical zone or face dire consequences from the party’s loyalists in the state.
The lawmakers also warned that the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus should not be removed as being insinuated in some quarters, they lawmakers said that it was traditional in the PDP that the zone that will produce the presidential candidate was always the zone that also retained the Chairmanship position of the party.
These were part of the demands made on Monday in a World Press Conference hosted by the Speaker, Hon. Ogbonnaya Nwifuru at the Conference room of the Speaker’s official residence in Abakaliki.
EPARLIAMENT had reported that the Speaker was scheduled to host the press conference as part of a grand scheme put in place by the Governor of Ebonyi state, Chief David Umahi to create a smooth sail as he prepares to defect to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
Hon. Nwifuru deliberately omitted the name of the governor from the list of Southeast PDP members whom he said were qualified to occupy Nigeria’s no 1 seat. He, however, noted that the governors were not included in the list because they were currently holding leadership positions as governors in their various states.
“We did not mention our Governors not because they are not qualified but these highly qualified persons are not holding positions currently and there are other eminent qualified Igbo leaders as well who are trusted, competent, capable and reliable. That tells you, gentlemen of the press that we are not asking for what we don’t have, so our party should not turn this request down,” Nwifuru stated.
Ebonyi state governor has not hidden his desire to take a short at the highest office in the land and at several times has said that he was “PDP as much as was also “APC.”
Chief Umahi last week told EPARLIAMENT that he was “still in the PDP.”
In a Press statement issued by his Media Assistant, the ebullient governor, however, assured his supporters that “if for any reason” he was going to leave the PDP that he was going to “officially” do so.
Meanwhile, as reported by EPARLIAMENT, local government Chairmen in the state on Monday summoned emergency meetings with the sole agenda being to galvanise stakeholders to embark of peaceful marches across the state to demand that Governor Umahi defects to the APC to pursue his presidential ambition.
Bellow is the full text of the Speaker’s Press Statement:
PRESS BRIEFING BY THE RT. HON. SPEAKER AND MEMBERS OF THE 6TH EBONYI STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY TODAY, OCTOBER 19, 2020
- The unity of our beloved country, Nigeria, has always been hinged on the principles of equity, justice and fairness. It is on such conventional wisdom that the country has striven to grow and develop equally across all her geopolitical zones.
- In furtherance of the above principles, we, the Honourable Members of the sixth (6th) Ebonyi State House of Assembly, wish to draw the attention of our great Party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to the rightful yearning of our industrious and peace-loving people of the South East Nigeria, that the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 29th May, 2023, be zoned to the South East.
- Since the inception of this democracy, the zone has paid its dues having worked assiduously and massively voted for all the presidential candidates of our great party – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), when the people of the South West in the year 1999 and 2003, the people of North West in 2007, the people of South South in 2011 and 2015, the people of the North East in 2019, all contested for Presidency. It is on record that since the inception of democracy in this country, from 1999 till date, the five (5) States of the South East have always delivered the presidential candidates of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 100 per cent.
- It is only appropriate in the spirit of democracy, equity, justice and fairness that the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2023, be zoned to the South East.
- South East has presidential personalities, people who are globally renowned, reliable, acceptable, tested and trusted to the position; having discharged their duties efficiently and effectively in the positions held before now. Persons like Peter Obi (Former PDP Vice Presidential Candidate in the 2019 elections and former Governor of Anambra State), Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim (former Senate President and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation), Sen. Ike Ekweremmadu (former 3-time Deputy President of the Senate), Sen. Theodore Orji (former Governor of Abia State), Achike Udenwa (former governor of Imo State), and a host of others. So we have qualified people who are very much available for this position. We did not mention our Governors not because they are not qualified but these highly qualified persons are not holding positions currently and there are other eminent qualified Igbo leaders as well who are trusted, competent, capable and reliable. That tells you, gentlemen of the press that we are not asking for what we don’t have, so our party should not turn this request down.
- On this note, we are giving our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 7 days ultimatum to convocate the National Executive Committee of the party and zone the position of the Presidency to the South East Nigeria, especially as INEC has officially announced the date of the presidential elections.
- In no minimal measure, this will further develop and unite our dear country.
- Equally, the party should not contemplate to remove the National Chairman of the Party, Prince Uche Secundus as it is customary that the zone (South) from where the National Chairman comes from produces the Presidential Candidate of the Party. If this advise is not adhered to, it will further divide and destabilize the party along sectional and regional lines.
- Failure to adhere to these kind requests will cost our party heavily and we, the Honourable Members of the 6th Ebonyi State House of Assembly will leave no stone unturned in taking decisive actions to ensure that traditions and dividends of democracy are respected in our party.
Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru
Honourable Speaker, Ebonyi State House of ASSEMBLY