There Is palpable suspense in Abuja as the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today.

The party’s 15 presidential aspirants and other stakeholders are said to be anxious as they await a final decision of NEC on the zoning of the 2023 ticket
The aspirants have been crisscrossing the country to sell their candidacy to delegates ahead of the party’s May 28-29 presidential primaries.

It has been observed that the 11 aspirants in the race who are of Southern extraction, have become less vehement in the agitation for the zoning of the ticket to their region.
Rather, they have shifted focus to competence and capacity for the job, which they are all laying claim to, as they await NEC’s final decision on the matter.

Amid the uncertainties, two Southern PDP governors are reported to have rebuffed the resolution they entered into with the Southern Governors Forum on power shift to the South.

Party sources say that the two governors who are from the South-South are supporting one of the frontline aspirants from the North.

Recall that the Southern Governors Forum, chaired by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, has been insistent that the next president must come from the South.

The Forum, which cuts across party lines, is made up of 17 governors. Eight of them in the PDP, eight in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and one in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

Of the 13-member PDP Governors Forum, the South has eight governors, against five from the North.
One of the five governors from the North, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, is supporting the power shift to the South.

This has reduced to four the number of PDP’s North governors supporting the retention of the ticket in the region.

All the 13 PDP governors are members of NEC and whose input will be critical to whatever decision the party arrives at today’s meeting.

As expected, the report of the 37-member zoning committee set up by the leadership of the PDP will be tabled for deliberation at the NEC meeting.

The committee, which was chaired by Governor Ortom, had submitted its report a few weeks ago.

Controversy has continued to trail the content of the report, with stakeholders expressing divergent views regarding the committee’s recommendations.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that the committee had recommended that the race for the party’s presidential ticket be thrown open to all contenders.

But Governor Ortom had since refuted the report, saying that the committee made no such recommendation.


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