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The political climate in the Peo­ples Democratic Party (PDP) is presently gripped by anxiety, horse trading, scheming and lobbying ahead of the Thurs­day meeting of the National Convention Committee on Zon­ing, headed by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.

The 44-member zoning committee is expected to arrive Enugu tomorrow and will then have its meeting on Thursday where it is expected to announce zoning of offices for the National Working Committee (NWC) in the October 30 and 31 national convention.

Of major concern to many stakeholders in the party is where the party’s next national chairman will emerge from.

Daily Independent gathered that since its inauguration, the 44-member zoning committee, which has Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue as Deputy Chairman and Mahdi Aliyu Mohammed, Zamfara Deputy Governor as Secretary, has been besieged by several requests by party leaders across the six geo-political zone son the need to zone key positions in the National Working Committee(NWC) to their region.

Though there are several positions in the NWC, the focus is on the position of national chairman of the party, which is currently occupied by Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, the Deputy National Chairman (South), who stepped in after a court in Rivers sacked Prince Uche Sec­ondus, the national chairman.

Already, leaders of the party in the six states in South-West have sent strong message to the leadership of the party on the need to zone the position of national chairman to the region.

However, some stakeholders in the party are rooting for the next national chairman to come from the Northern part of the country. Those behind the plot are also calling for the presidential ticket to be thrown open for all aspirants instead of zoning it to any section of the country.

A credible source in the party said it is expected that the committee will announce the positions immediately after its meeting on Thursday so that each region can know its rightful place and for those interested in contesting for elective office to quickly begin their campaign.

“Yes, the committee is meeting tomorrow and anxiety is fever pitch high. There has been serious lobbying from both the North and South on where the next national chairman will emerge from. Initially, there has been clamour for the South to produce the national chairman with focus on the South-West, however, that seems to be chang­ing with the position of some PDP governors in the Southern Governors’ Forum that the next president should emerge from the South.

“Since that happened some northern power brokers have been canvassing that the North should produce the national chairman and allow the South get the presidential ticket. However, there are also some who have been calling for both the national chairmanship position and the presidential ticket to be thrown open so that the best candidates will emerge.

“The expectation is that after its meeting, the committee on zoning headed by the governor of Enugu State will announce its position immediately. This is because the convention is just a month away and there is no time to waste. We have been given as­surance that the dates will not be shifted so those interested in occupying elective offices in the NWC need to know where they belong so that they can kick start campaign in earnest”.

Source:- Independent Ng

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