By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, National Chairman, National Caretaker Committee, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has reaffirmed the party’s commitment to honouring its zoning agreement.
He stated this on Tuesday in Abuja in a meeting with Northern leaders and elders of PDP to harmonise the region’s position on the zoning arrangement for the 2019 general elections and the party’s convention in December.
Recently, a ranking member of the party and the governor of Ekiti State Ayodele Fayose declared his intention to run for the highest position in Nigeria, flouting the party’s zoning of the position to the North.
Makarfi therefore urged party members to respect the zoning arrangement, saying that it was one of the decisions taken at the Port Harcourt Convention in May.
“I want to expatiate that the Supreme Court has also affirmed the supremacy of our convention.
“I wish to emphasize that the Supreme Court in affirming the authenticity of our caretaker committee has also reaffirmed the supremacy of decisions of the convention.
“One of the decisions taken at the convention is that of the composition of the caretaker committee and that of zoning of presidency and party chairman.
“As for the issue of micro zoning, I believe that what is required in both the south and north is consultation.
“As for presidency, it is clear that there is no confusion, but I want us to exercise caution so that we will not misinterpret what was said at the convention.
“While zoning has been recognized by the convention, micro zoning is not binding on any member.
“That is why I am saying consultation is the best way to build consensus on any issue. The party has been promoting consultation and consensus as the way forward,” he said.
The chairman called for constructive engagement among the zones on the zoning arrangement in a way that nobody would be denied his fundamental human rights.
“Let’s engage ourselves; nobody will be forced to vote in a particular manner. I am confident that we will get to a level where we can deepen consensus.
“If we have overwhelming consensus, PDP will come out of the convention with less crisis and we will be home and dry.”
He further called for unity among PDP members without which the party would find it difficult to regain power in 2019.
In his remark, Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party, Sen. Walid Jubrin, urged party members to respect the zoning arrangements.
He advised all zones in the North to come together and look inward with a view to agreeing on a credible candidate that could be presented for the presidential ticket.
“The North is blessed with so many capable politicians. We must be able to take a decision that will be acceptable to the North and the country”
One of the conveners of the meeting, Prof. Jerry Gana, advised the party to elect the best candidates in accordance with its zoning formula.
Gana urged PDP members to dismiss the recent declaration of a presidential ambition by Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose.
He said that the party’s presidential ticket for 2019 had been zoned to the North and it remained sacrosanct.
“I want to appeal to you to give to the party the very best in the positions that have been zoned to us.
“Let us therefore give to the party, men and women of impeccable integrity.
“Whatever the Fayoses of this world may be doing, the party has resolved that the presidential candidate will come from one of the three zones in the North,” Gana said.