Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-east zone yesterday ruled out the application of the zoning principle in its choice of its gubernatorial candidate in the 2021 governorship election in Anambra State.
The issue of zoning has dominated the political discourse recently in the state with Anambra South laying claim to the seat.
Apart from Dr. Chinweike Mbadinuju, who governed the state between 1999 and 2003, no other person from the southern zone had ruled the state, while central and northern zones had effectively taken charge.
But rising from its Zonal Working Committee meeting in Enugu, the PDP said it would jettison zoning and go for the best candidate “no matter where the person comes from” in its bid to recapture the state which it lost in 2006.
The party National Vice Chairman, South-east zone, Chief Austin Umahi, who briefed journalists at the end of the meeting, said going for the best candidate would be the party’s strategy to reclaim the state presently controlled by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
According to him, “The truth remains that Anambra State upcoming election is very cardinal to us. What happened last time would not allow to repeat itself again because we are determined to recapture state as it belongs to PDP. And you know that if not for sabotage; if not for pull-him-down syndrome in state which we have taken precautions against, the state belongs to us, so we must have to nip such in the bud against occurring again.
“On the issue of zone, you are talking of APGA, but this is PDP. We (PDP) are going for the best candidate irrespective of where he comes from. If he likes, let him come from anywhere and let his brother run as a deputy governorship candidate; the most important thing is that we want to recapture the state because Anambra State is very cardinal to the South-east region.
“The zone has been mandated to recapture Anambra State the way we did in Imo State, and kudos to the zone because we are determined this time like in Imo State. PDP as a party must have the best
Umahi also used the opportunity to decry a statement recently credited to the Chairman of PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Alhaji Walin Jubrin, wherein he reportedly threw his weight behind RUGA policy for Fulani herdsmen across the country.
Meanwhile, Jibrin has taken time to clarify his statement on the controversial policy, saying it is his personal opinion and as a Fulani leader, not as a party leader.
However, Umahi said the claim was his personal opinion, and therefore does not require official reaction, particularly since the South-east Governors’ Forum had taken a position on the issue to the effect that the zone had no land for such scheme.