The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has frowned at the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to throw open its presidential ticket for the 2023 general elections.
PANDEF, while reacting to the decision of the PDP NEC taken late on Wednesday night, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Hon Ken Robinson on Thursday, said it was an unfortunate decision and that the nation’s main opposition party has only succeeded in digging its own grave.
According to PANDEF, by this decision, “the PDP has simply dug its own grave. Sadly, this is a party whose Constitution unequivocally commits to the Policy of rotation and zoning of Party and Public elective offices in pursuance of the principles of equity, justice and fairness.”
The group also challenged the belief that only Northerners can win elections for the PDP, citing the examples of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, who won elections on the platform of the party as Southerners.
The statement read in part: “The opinion that the PDP is not obligated to zone its presidential ticket for the 2023 election, is preposterous and illogical, likewise, the implied consideration that it’s only a northern candidate that can secure victory for the party in the 2023 presidential election.
“Do we need to remind the PDP that former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan are not northerners, who both won presidential elections for the PDP in 1999, 2003, and 2011 respectively?
“It bears stating that the presidency is not the presidency of a party; it is the presidency of Nigeria. The fact that President Muhammadu Buhari is of the All Progressives Congress is extraneous.
“PANDEF expects the All Progressives Congress (APC) to take advantage of the awful indiscretion of the PDP to consolidate itself as a truly nationalistic party, committed to the unity, peace and progress of Nigeria, by ensuring the emergence of a southern presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.
“PANDEF notes that Nigeria is a great country of outstanding men and women, with incredible possibilities; we cannot afford to fritter the labours of our heroes, past and present, by allowing rapacious politicians to callously and carelessly jettison arrangements and understandings that have sustained the oneness and stability of the country over the years, now.”