Niger State PDP Zoning Formula Collapses as Party Stalwart Declares for 2019 Guber Race

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

The Peoples Democratic Party zoning arrangement for the governorship of Niger state in the 2019 election has fallen apart following the declaration by a top member of the party, Alhaji Isah Kawu moves to contest the governorship election.

Kawu’s declaration for the governorship race could also mean a defection from the PDP.

The PDP had in 2003 put in place the zoning arrangement which provided for the governorship to rotate among the three senatorial zones commencing with the Niger south senatorial zone.

Following this arrangement, politicians from the Niger south and Niger East have had their turns leaving the stage for Niger north to occupy the governorship seat till 2023.

Incumbent chairman of the party Alhaji Tanko Beji restated the commitment of the state working committee of the party to upholding this policy next year when he briefed newsmen in Minna recently.

However, Kawu, who was a former speaker of the state house of assembly and beneficiary of the zoning formula while declaring his interest in the governorship of the state on a local radio in Bida on Saturday, said he was not bound by the party arrangement.

Kawu stated that he was not unaware of the zoning arrangements, adding that “it is only top politicians who will press home their agenda yet the ordinary people of Niger state are more concerned about quality of leadership not the geopolitical background of the leader.

“I, Isah Kawu from Bida have made up my mind to contest the governorship election in Niger state come 2019, I am very much aware of the fact that as a prominent member of the Peoples Democratic Party. Many politicians and ordinary Nigerlites will pitch their tent with the party, but it has become clear that I will seek my election on another platform.”

He continued that “I salute the courage of those who recently moved from PDP to APC, but I don’t think I have the strength to take the bull to sweep with the broom, but I will actualise my aspiration in other political parties coming on board knowing fully that we have over 60 political parties especially the ones on the ground in Niger state we should be able to bring them together to rescue the state,” he added.

The declaration by Kawu was also posted on his Facebook pages and on Instagram. The leadership of the PDP could not be reached for their reaction as at press time on Saturday.