The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday, May 11, finally threw open the contest for its presidential ticket to all aspirants in the race.
The decision was taken at the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Wednesday night, according to The Nation.
The NEC appointed former Senate President, David Mark chairman of the party’s national convention organising committee.
Enugu Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was named the Deputy Chairman of the Committee while a former Katsina Governor, Ibrahim Shema is Secretary.
The Committee is charged with the responsibility of organising the presidential primaries slated for May 28-29.
NEC also encouraged the presidential aspirants to work towards picking one of them as a consensus candidate.
In a communique released after the meeting, which lasted about four hours, the party said the contest was thrown open in line with a recommendation of the PDP National Zoning Committee.
The Committee was chaired by Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom.
The communique reads: “After very extensive deliberation, NEC aligned with the recommendation of the PDP National Zoning Committee that the Presidential Election should now be left open. The Party should also work towards a consensus candidate where possible.
“NEC noted the recommendation of the Zoning Committee that in the interest of justice and fair play, the Party should take a decision on Zoning timeously so as to prevent complications to the process.
“NEC ratified the conduct of the Presidential Primary (Special National Convention) to elect our Party’s Presidential Candidate on Saturday, May 28 to Sunday, May 29, 2022, in Abuja
‘NEC assured of free, fair, credible, and transparent processes for the emergence of our party’s candidates for all elective positions in the 2023 general elections”.
The NEC meeting, which was initially scheduled to hold at 2 pm, was shifted to 8 pm.
At the opening of the meeting, the PDP National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu stressed the need for party leaders to remain united.
Ayu said: “We are not only getting more united, we are also working harder. And I believe that with this spirit, we will do very well in the forthcoming elections and nothing will stop us from taking over power come May next year.
“So, I urge you all to continue with the same enthusiasm to resolve differences within the party among ourselves, to make sure we work hard at the grassroots level with the same enthusiasm we displayed here in Abuja”.
Also speaking on behalf of the PDP Governors, Sokoto Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal assured that the Governors will do everything legally possible to rescue and rebuild Nigeria.
He said: “I assure you, Mr. Chairman, as your governors, we are always ready to continue to give you every support that is required for our party to emerge successful in the general elections, starting with Congresses at various levels.”