Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has challenged the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to zone the party’s presidential ticket to South East if it is serious about the issue of equity and fairness.
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Atiku also said he will step down his presidential ambition once other aspirants in the South concede the privilege of producing the presidential candidate of the party to the Southeast.
He noted that former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan are from SouthWest and South-South respectively and for aspirants like Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike and former Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose to be angling for the ticket is inappropriate and runs foul of the spirit of equity and fairness.
According to Atiku Abubakar, “If PDP zones its presidential candidate to South East, I will withdraw for fairness and equity. However, if PDP zones its presidential ticket to the South, I will not withdraw because there is no fairness and equity.
“Goodluck Jonathan was president for 6 years. For fairness and equity, Wike should not contest but he is contesting. Olusegun Obasanjo was president for 8 years. For fairness and equity, Fayose should not contest but he is contesting.
“My region (North East) has not produced a president in this country but I am ready to step down if PDP zones it to South East.
If Wike and Fayose want fairness and equity, they should be fighting for PDP’s presidential ticket to be zoned to South East not South.”
It was reported that Governors of the PDP in the South on Friday night met at Akwa-Ibom governors lodge in Abuja and insisted that ticket of the party must be zoned to the South, the meeting attended by governors of Abia, Enugu, Oyo, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Bayelsa insisted that not other than zoning to the South will be accepted.
Speaking on behalf of the governors, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu who is the Chairman of the PDP Southern governors said,
“We have watched with keen interest the development in our party especially concerning the zoning. And our position is that first we are committed to the unity of our party and we have worked hard to make sure that this party remains strong and viable vehicle to rescue Nigeria come 2023.
“Be that as it may, we want to draw your attention to the fact that we had agreed as Southern governors in Lagos and also in Delta that this party has to respect the zoning principle as enshrined in our Constitution.
And to that effect, we insist that the first thing to do is to zone the presidency to the South and we stand on that position. We have not seen any reason to change that position, because the Party was founded on the basis of equity and justice and we also think that equity and justice is an important pillar that will ultimately stabilize our polity towards our journey in rescuing Nigeria.”
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