Party unveils zoning arrangement
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday ratified the administrative approval granted to Senator Ahmed Makarfi as the head of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The commission said it recognised the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee based on the judgment of the Federal High Court in Port-Harcourt and that it would henceforth work with it for all its activities.
Also yesterday, the leadership of the PDP received the report of its zoning committee (NCC)which in addition to zoning the presidential candidate and national chairman to the North and South respectively also share the other national offices at the parity between the North and South.
According to its Decision Extract issued on July 14, 2016, and signed by the Director, Commission’s Secretariat, Ishiaku A. Gali, the commission said it would recognise the national caretaker’s activities such “as the conduct of primaries of political officers; and the submission of the plaintiff’s list of the candidate for any election to be conducted by the commission.
The commission had two weeks ago received the candidate forwarded to it by the Makarfi-led faction of the PDP which had earlier secured an order from the Port-Harcourt High Court.
Meanwhile the PDP zoning committee headed by the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, yesterday submitted its report to the NCC at the party’s temporary office in Abuja.
While presenting the report of the committee, Umahi said the national offices of the party had been shared equally between the North and the South.
The details showed that the positions zoned to North include: Deputy National Chairman, National Secretary, National Financial Secretary, National Publicity Secretary and National Auditor.
Other posts also zoned to the North are the National Woman Leader, Deputy National Treasurer, Deputy National Organising Secretary, Deputy National Youth Leader, Deputy National Legal Adviser and Deputy National Secretary.
Under the zoning arrangement, the PDP zoned the National Chairman, Deputy National Chairman (1), National Treasurer, National Legal Adviser, National Youth Leader and National Organising Secretary to the South.
Also zoned to the South are post of the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Deputy National Woman Leader, Deputy National Auditor and Deputy National Financial Secretary.
Umahi explained that in arriving at the zoning arrangement, the committee considered earlier zoning formula in the party since its inception to date, and equally examined previous happenings in the party in respect of restrictions to equal participation of members.
“Consequently, it desired a paradigm shift from the unsatisfactory practices within the party operations and that all positions should be keenly contested for among the major zones they are zoned to in order to open the space and allow for full participation of members.
“That the chairmanship of the party be zoned to the southern zones bearing in mind that the presidential ticket of the party for 2019 was zoned to the northern zones as approved by the National Convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, held on May 21, 2016;
He said the committee also made provisions for two positions of Deputy National Chairman which would be shared between the North and South.
According to him, the zoning committee also recommended that the party amends its constitution to make a provision for the six National Vice Chairmen to henceforth be included as members of the National Working Committee (NWC).