Party chieftain and ex-Nigerian Ambassador to Algeria and Phillipines, Dr Nnamdi Onochie, has asked national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to make a clear pronouncement on the zoning formula ahead of its presidential primaries and the 2023 main general election in the country
This is even as Onochie expressed disapproval of the sum of forty million naira for the purchase of the forms to run for President of Federal Republic of Nigeria in the upcoming elections.
In a statement forwarded to AFRIPOST on Friday, against the backdrops of the party’s decisions during its 95th meeting of National Executive Committee (NEC), held on Wednesday, in Abuja, Onochie criticized the approval granted for the establishment of a 37-member zoning committee with the charge to make recommendation for the zoning of various elective positions for the 2023 general elections.
He recalled that article 8.2(c) of the PDP 1999 constitution which provided the zoning of all party and government positions between the south and north has been trampled on, regretting that the justice, equity and fairness envisaged by that constitutional provision on zoning, followed in 2019, when the presidential position was zoned to the north, has been trounced.
According to him, “every interested presidential aspirant can pay N40M, non-refundable amount, and join the race. To whom is the money paid? Who audits the expenditure of the PDP in the course of the election? The INEC! Where does the constitutional responsibility to exercise control over the monetary activities of the political parties lies? The INEC!
Onochie also queried, “Why would INEC permit the PDP and all the other political parties to fix and determine the cost of purchase of forms for elections in a democracy? Whose interest, the national or the personal elite interest is served, when huge sums such as N40M is levied,.on elections guaranteed by the constitution, for the participation of adults in the country? There are only two rules the constitution placed on presidential aspirants: age of 35 years, and successful education up to secondary school level”.
The PDP presidential aspirant further opined that the authorization of sales of forms without zoning of positions by party leadership meant that meeting the requirements on zoning is no longer expected, describing setting up of the committee on zoning as a fraud and deceit of the public and members of the party
Onochie continued, “It is a recipe for litigating both INEC and PDP for deliberate breach of the party’s constitution. It is worse for youths because they are technically being excluded from participating in this democracy. A discount of 50 per cent has been granted to them, a clear acceptance that something is deeply wrong with the financial demand and set-up.
The Igbo stalwart also posited that the recent call for unity of all members by the national chairman was an utter disservice to the oath of office sworn by him, querying “whose personal elite interest is the party and its leadership kowtowing to? Is it Nigeria?
According to Onochie, posterity and history will hold them accountable.