A committee set up by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to review the 2019 general election has submitted its report to the national leadership of the party.
One of the recommendations of the committee is that the opposition party should throw open its presidential ticket rather than zone it as some politicians in the party are demanding.
If implemented, the move will dash the hope of some party stalwart who want the ticket zone to the Southern part of the country.
The committee headed by Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, has other members which includes; Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe; former governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu; former senator, Stella Omu and Emmanuel Agbo, who served as secretary.
The committee which argued that the top position should not be zone to any part of the country because every region has capable hands advised that merit should be the deciding factor.
The position of the committee is similar to that of some individuals in the North who consider themselves influential demanding that zoning be discarded for competence, a ploy seen by Southerners as a means for the North to retain power after President Muhammadu Buhari.
“In line with certain unwritten conventions of the nation’s history, many people think that for fairness and equity, the North-East and South-East geo-political zones that have had the shortest stints at the Presidency should be given special consideration in choosing the presidential flag bearer of the party for the 2023 elections,” Mr Mohammed said while submitting its findings on Wednesday.
“While we admit that this is a strong argument, we should not lose sight of the fact that Nigeria is endowed with many capable and very experienced leaders in every part of the country.
“Moreover, the exigencies of the moment demand that nothing should be compromised in choosing the leader with the attributes to disentangle the country from the present quagmire.
“Therefore, we think that every Nigerian from every part of the country should be given the opportunity to choose the best candidate through a credible primary election, as a way of institutionalising a merit-based leadership recruitment process for the country,” the governor said.
Citing the #EndSARS protest spearheaded by youths nationwide, he advised the party to reserved some elective and appointive positions for the youths and women.
“Cognisant of the generational and gender shifts all over the globe and the emergence of a new generation of Nigerians who are not held down by religion, ethnicity or such other primordial considerations, but who are determined to mainstream the country into global best practices, the party should set aside a certain percentage of elective and appointive offices for the youth and women,” Mr Mohammed said.
While advising that god-fatherism be discouraged, the committee asked the party to advocate for genuine restructuring of the polity that fosters “decentralisation, engenders national unity, guarantees security of lives and properties of all Nigerians no matter where they reside in the country and which promotes economic prosperity and the overall well-being of all our people.”
Receiving the report, the national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, assured that the PDP will also engage other stakeholders in a bid to address the yearnings of leadership failures in the country.
“We will continue to build the party along the line of the recommendations with a view to cultivating a wide support base with utmost urgency towards 2023,” Mr Secondus said. “I have no doubt in my mind that your report will form the bedrock of our party’s plan ahead of the 2023 general elections. The NWC is going to study and analyse your report meticulously and come up with a position that will be beneficial to the party.
“But we need to warn that the only thing keeping this country alive today is the fact that APC will be history by 2023. They are aware of this reality and they are trying to use their usual propaganda to create a different image of themselves but Nigeria knows better and cannot be fooled again,” he added.