PDP NEC makes final decision on presidential ticket zoning on Thursday

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* NWC meets Tuesday, extends sale of nomination forms

*Purchase, submit forms now until April 19, 20
Chuks Okocha in Abuja

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) will meet on Thursday to make a final decision on the zoning of the main opposition party’s presidential ticket, THISDAY learned.

THISDAY gathered that the National Working Committee (NWC) would also meet on Tuesday.
PDP has also adjusted its timeline and schedule of activities to extend the closing dates for purchasing and submitting Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for the 2023 General Election.

The 37-man committee headed by Benue State Governor Dr Samuel Ortom submitted its report to the NWC of the party led by Senator Iyorchia Ayu last week.
The vice-chair of the committee, the Hon. Ndudi Elumelu presented the committee report on behalf of the Ortom.

In their separate comments, Ayu and Elumelu said only the party’s NEC would have the final say on the contentious zoning issue after discussing the findings of the committee’s report.
Ayu promised that the committee’s recommendations would be forwarded to the NEC, which would make a final decision.

According to him, the decision would be brought to the notice of “party members across the country and all Nigerians who are eagerly awaiting the final decision of your committee.”

THISDAY had reported that the zoning committee had recommended that the presidential ticket be open to anyone interested in the ticket from any part of the country.

Sources close to the committee had said the party leadership was more interested in how to win the presidential election than zoning the presidency, which could hamper their efforts to regain power in 2023.
However, Southern party governors rose from their meeting last week, insisting that the party’s presidential ticket be zoned to the South.

Speaking to THISDAY yesterday, PDP National Publicity Secretary Mr Debo Ologunagba said the party was making arrangements to hold the NWC meeting immediately after the Easter holiday on Tuesday and the NEC meeting on Thursday.

“After our NWC meeting immediately after the Easter holiday, we are meeting to set the date for the NEC meeting for the main task of receiving the report from the zoning committee and making a final decision on the zoning of the presidential ticket” .

He said: “We intend to meet on Thursday for this purpose, all things being equal. Time is no longer on our side. This matter should be settled once and for all.

In the meantime, PDP has further adjusted its timeline and schedule of activities to extend the closing dates for purchasing and submitting Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for the 2023 General Election.

According to a press release from the party’s spokesperson, “this is to allow the party to make up for the two public holidays announced by the federal government”.

Under the new schedule, the last day for purchasing all forms has been extended to Tuesday, April 19, 2022, while the last day for submitting already completed forms has also been extended to Wednesday, April 20 2022.

“New dates have been set for the selection of candidates for various positions; the States Houses of Assembly will be held on Friday, April 22, 2022; The National Assembly will be held on Monday, April 25, 2022; Governor’s Office is Tuesday, April 26, 2022; while the presidential is on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.

“The selection calls are scheduled as follows: the State Legislature will be held on Monday, April 25, 2022; The National Assembly is Wednesday, April 27, 2022; governorship is Friday, April 29, 2022; while the Presidential is Saturday, April 30, 2022. All other dates as previously published remain unchanged,” the statement explained. The release adds that all completed forms for state assembly houses must be submitted to the various party state secretariats.

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