OPEN LETTER TO MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY ON 2023 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE NOMINATION OF THE PARTY.
You may recall that at the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party in 1998, Dr Alexander Ekwueme PhD, former Vice president of Nigeria during the aborted Second Republic that lasted between October 1, 1979 and December 31, 1983, as leader of the group of 38 distinguished leaders of our great country that sacrificed their time and resources for the formation of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was seen as the frontline Presidential Aspirant penultimate to the National Convention of 1998.
You may also note that on the eve of the National Convention, some leaders across the country prevailed on the party to present someone from the Southwest geopolitical zone as candidate of PDP for the January 1999 presidential election, which the PDP won. The argument of these leaders was premised on compensating the Southwest geopolitical zone over the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election that was presumed to have be won by Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, of the now defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP. It was based on this that the ambition of Chief Ekwueme was sacrificed by the party in favour of retired general Olusegun Obasanjo, who got the nomination of the party despite the fact that he was never involved in the formation process at any level.
You may further recall that despite denial of Dr Ekweme, a native of Anambra state in the Southeast geopolitical zone, the PDP was still accepted in the zone across all level during that year’s general election.
Distinguished leaders, recall that penultimate to the expiration of the tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo, the leadership of the party zoned the sole presidential ticket of the party for the 2007 general election to the Northern region, while the vice presidential slot that was zoned to the Southern region, was given to the SouthSouth geopolitical. Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, then Executive Governors of Katsina and Bayelsa states respectively, were nominated as presidential and vice presidential candidates for the party.
Distinguished Leaders, at the expiration of the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari in the year 2023, it is expected that power shifts to the Southern region in the interest of Justice, Equity and Fairness. This is because it will be unfair and highly unacceptable for a candidate from the North to emerge president to succeed President Buhari, a native of Katsina state in Northern Nigeria. The PDP, being a leading party in Nigeria is expected to show leadership and present a candidate from the South in compliance with the wish of patriotic Nigerians across all geopolitical zones.
While the Southwest and Southsouth zones have been given opportunity to fly the flags of the PDP in Presidential election on two occasions each, the Southeast zone, which has been the traditional stronghold of PDP has suffered victimization and extreme marginalization as a result from Federal government of the now ruling All Progressive Congress since 2015.
Considering the above, it is only fair to all sections of Nigeria irrespective of ethic nationality or political leaning, for the presidential nomination of PDP for the 2023 presidential election to be streamlined to a credible aspirant from the Southeast geopolitical zone.
Distinguished leaders, while we are not particular about any individual, may I assure you all that the Southeast geopolitical zone parades credible men and women that have made their marks over the years in both the public and private sectors, and would be willing to advance the interest of Nigeria and also implement the programs and manifesto of PDP for Nigeria.
Please be assured of our highest regards.
Mazi Dickson Nnamdi-Iroegbu (DGN)
for: SOUTHEAST-2023 PRESIDENCY