Ebonyi State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday joined the state Assembly to insist that the National leadership of the party must zone the party’s 2023 presidential ticket to South-East zone.

The state chapter of the party during a press briefing in Abakaliki, the state capital, gave the National leadership of the PDP seven days to zone the presidential ticket to the south east or await its action.

Chairman of the party, Chief Onyekachi Nwebonyi, flanked by members of the state Working Committee of the party during the press briefing in Abakaliki, the state capital, said the state PDP would not accept any arrangement to deny the south-east presidency in 2023, adding that denying southeast presidency in 2023 by the party might cause apathy among the teaming supporters of PDP in the state.

According to the state chapter of the party, the tradition of the party should be maintained “as we can’t allow the legitimate yearning of the South-East people to be swept under the carpet going by the recent pronouncement of the national leadership of the PDP which suggests that the Southeast will not enjoy the benefits of zoning which other zones have enjoyed.”

The party, however, maintained that Ebonyi PDP was formidable and stood for equity and fairness and that it stood fully in support of Prince Uche Secondus for a second term as national chairman of the party.

It said: “We therefore enjoin the party, in whatever arrangement not to tamper with the seat of the national chairman. Having performed satisfactorily well; leading the party to epochal victories, Secondus deserves a second term. That is non-negotiable.

“We wish to also urge the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP to consider zoning the presidency to the Southeast. This should be done within a week as INEC has announced the date for the 2023 presidential election. The Southeast has notable personalities who have performed exceedingly well in public service. Of course, we apparently have the best brains in the country.

“We have the likes of Senator Pius Anyim, Dr. Peter Obi, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, Senator Theodore Orji, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who have accolades that speak volumes. There are other capable dignitaries many of who occupy public positions currently who have performed well and can be president of this country.

“Since the inception of this democratic dispensation, PDP has never thrown its presidential ticket open to all zones. It has always been rotated between the south and the north. In that arrangement, the Southeast has always delivered every presidential candidates of the party at the polls. In 1999 and 2003 presidential elections, Obasanjo all won in the Southeast.

“In 2007 Yar’Adua won in the Southeast and Jonathan too won in 2011 and 2015. Also in 2019, Atiku Abukakar won the presidential election in the Southeast with a wide margin. It is therefore a crass show of hypocrisy if the PDP denies the Southeast that chance.

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