…disaffected National Assembly members also plotting defection.

Horse trading over the zoning of the presidential ticket and national chairmanship of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is threatening to wreak havoc on the party.

Following reports that the chairmanship has been allocated to the South by the party’s Zoning Committee led by Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, two Southern governors as well as scores of National Assembly (NASS) members, are said to have commenced plans to dump PDP ahead of its national convention.

Sources said that many members are dissatisfied with the decision which they interpret to mean an automatic move to forestall zoning of the 2023 presidential ticket to the South, the governors, who incidentally had been approached by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the past, have resolved to dump their party “before it is too late to do so.”

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An aide to one of the governors from the South-South, who spoke on condition of anonymity said his principal was extremely sad about the decision of the zoning committee.

“Plans are now in top gear for us to disassociate our state from the ill-advised zoning arrangement. Our governor has made it clear from day one that what we want is the 2023 presidential ticket of the party. That is why no chieftain of the PDP from our state has shown interest in the national chairmanship position,” he said.

“He has been one of those urging the party to do the right thing. His contributions to the discussion during the recent Southern governors meeting where they all agreed to press their parties to zone the presidency to the South is on record. That is why he’s shocked to see the outcome of the zoning committee’s report, headed by a fellow governor who was also at the meeting.”

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He disclosed that APC emissaries had visited his boss earlier in the year with a view to getting him to defect, but as a loyal party man he made it clear the only reason he would leave PDP was if the party failed to give the 2023 presidential ticket to the South.

“His fears have just been confirmed and those saying he’s on his way out of the party are merely saying what they know will happen next,” the aide stated.

“The governor told us that following the surprise zoning of the national chairmanship of his party to the South, many chieftains of the party in the region are unhappy as they fear a plot to deny the South the chance to pick the party’s presidential ticket in 2023,”a source who attended the meeting said.

“He, however, reiterated his determination to join another party if PDP fails to zone the ticket to the South. In fact, in his submission, he made it clear that he and some other PDP leaders in the zone are in talks with another party already.”

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PDP governors are set to meet on Wednesday to discuss a wide range of issues confronting the party and the thorny zoning controversy is expected to top on the agenda.

Party sources say the decision to meet follows last Thursday’s meeting of the Ugwuanyi Zoning Committee held in Enugu.

Those believed to be galled by the move to give PDP presidential ticket include; Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, Abia State Governor Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Rivers State Governor and Nyesom Wike.

Some disaffected members of the National Assembly are also believed to be plotting defection.


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