The main opposition National party, Peoples Democratic Party has revealed plans that it may choose its 2019 presidential candidate from the North. The recommendation was made by the PDP’s Post-Election Review Committee in a report submitted to the party leadership.
The committee also recommended the adoption of direct primaries in the run-up to elections in the future polls instead of delegates voting.
This recommendation was disclosed by the committee chairman, Ike Ekweremadu, in Abuja while submitting its report to the National Working Committee of the PDP.
The Ekweremadu-led committee was set up by the party in May in the aftermath of its poor performance in the last general elections. The committee was given a nine-point terms of reference, which was to find out the cause of the party’s dismal performance at the polls and draw-up a roadmap for its restoration to its former glory.
Deputy Senate President, Ekweremadu said the recommendation for the zoning of the presidential position to the North was as a result of popular views expressed by party members.
He said, “It is also recommended to the party to strictly apply the zoning principle at all levels. In particular, since the last President of PDP extraction came from the southern part of Nigeria, it is recommended that PDP’s presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections should come from the northern part of the country.
“This is in accordance with the popular views expressed in the submissions to the Committee. This will also assuage any ill feelings in the North over any perceived breach of the party’s zoning principle.”
Ekweremadu stated that the PDP will discard its former voting system of use of delegates at the party primaries, and adopt a direct voting method as the use of delegates had been abused by members.
“Furthermore, it is recommended that the party adopt direct primary as the sole means of electing PDP candidates for any election at all levels.”
“The use of delegates has been grossly compromised and abused, and should therefore be discontinued forthwith to return true ownership of the party to the people.”
He stated that the committee also proposed a nationwide biometric membership registration to ensure the integrity of its membership records.
He elaborated: “We have made extensive recommendations, the core of which is to end impunity, uphold justice, entrench internal democracy, enhance party administration, promote transparency and accountability, and return the party to its true owners- the people- in accordance with our Party slogan and founding principles.”
The committee chair thanked PDP members saying, “Despite the setbacks of the 2015 general elections, especially the loss of the control of the Federal Government, we nevertheless saw across the nation determined party faithful profusely hopeful and enthusiastic about reinventing our party and returning it on the path of glory.”
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