The caretaker chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, has reiterated the party’s resolve to honour its zoning arrangement.
Makarfi made the statement in Abuja on Tuesday while meeting PDP Northern leaders and elders to harmonise the region’s position on the zoning arrangement for the 2019 general elections and the party’s convention in December.
He enjoined the members of the party to respect the zoning arrangement, insisting that it is one of the decisions the party took in its Port Harcourt Convention in May.
"I want to expantiate 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 the 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 the 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.
Makarfi further encouraged consultation among the zones over the zoning arrangement such that everybody’s fundamental human right would be respected.
"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". According to him, PDP’s unity will ensure that the party won't struggle to regain power in 2019.
The party’s Board of Trustees chairman, Sen. Walid Jubrin also urged members of the party to respect the zoning arrangement, and also advised the North to consider agreeing on a credible candidate to 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,” Jubrin said.
Prof. Jerry Gana, a convener of the meeting was as well in support of the zoning arrangement, urging party members to ignore Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State who recently declared his presidential ambition.
"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.
Fayose it would be recalled flouted the party’s zoning arrangement after he publicly declared to run for the Presidency in the 2019 election under the PDP.