Presidency2023: PDP Disqualifies Two, Other Aspirants Differ on Zoning
The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) on Friday in Abuja, disqualified two of its 17 presidential aspirants.
The Chairman of the Screening Committee, Senator David Mark, disclosed this to journalists shortly after the conclusion of the exercise at the Legacy House, Abuja, the presidential campaign headquarters of the main opposition.
THECONSCIENCENG gathered that the screening, which began around 11 am, lasted till 7 pm and involved all the aspirants.
Mark added that the report of Friday’s screening would be transmitted to the PDP National Working Committee for consideration on the same day.
He stated, “The exercise, as far as we’re concerned, went on very well. We’ve been here since morning, and I’m sure you people have been here since morning also.
“We’ve been very thorough this time. See how much time we’ve taken to screen each individual who has been here. We screened 17 aspirants, which is quite a number. We cleared 15 and two have not been cleared.
“Now, don’t ask me those who have been cleared and those who have not been cleared, because I won’t tell you. We haven’t released the result to them. So, if you ask a question in that direction, you’re wasting time.
“I think on the whole, that’s what we’ve done. And we’re quite satisfied with the standard of the aspirants by and large. And we think that any one of them, who gets the ticket, will win the election in 2023.”
Meanwhile, some of the presidential hopefuls had expressed divergent views on the zoning of the ticket.
Speaking to journalists after being screened,Akwa Ibom Governor, Emmanuel Udom noted that despite the southern governors’ resolution that the presidential ticket be zoned to the South, the party’s decision would take precedence.
“The party is supreme. If the party has spoken, we will all abide by what the party has said,” the governor said.
On his likelihood of scaling through the process, the governor said, “I want to believe that all the people they’ve seen so far today are equal to the task to rescue and restore this country.
“But in the meantime, I want to believe that so many things are to my own advantage, because if you look at my antecedents, if you look at my training, if you look at the capacity and above all, I think age is also on my side.
“Nigeria today needs a very strong, agile young man. I think as so many factors are in my favour, and that will be decided by the electorate in the primary.”
Former Ekiti State governor under the PDP umbrella, Ayo Fayose voiced his support for zoning, saying it would reduce confusion.
He stated, “Well, I say it again very expressly that I am for zoning and I believe that the best thing this party can do for posterity so as not to cause confusion is for this party to zone this presidential ticket.
“If we fail to do it, even if we say anybody can contest, you must officially zone it to the South. In 1999, it was zoned to the South, which brought Obasanjo and Olu Falaye. But the party must remember that whatever we do today will stand against us tomorrow.”
On the screening, Fayose noted, “The panel said they’ve gone through my CV, they’re satisfied and they only want me to talk on the stomach infrastructure policy of my government when I was holding sway in Ekiti.
“So, I told them the importance of stomach infrastructure. And I equally made it very clear that if I become the President of Nigeria, I will be minister for stomach infrastructure and welfare of the people.”
In his remarks on zoning, Ohuabunwa said no manipulation of man could truncate the country’s destiny.
He stated, “They are all being strategic. Since the PDP has not announced, they also don’t want to announce so that they can keep the options open.
“But whether they announce or they don’t announce, what will happen has been predetermined.
“I’m a child of grace. I’m in this race by a conviction that is beyond the ordinary and I know that God, who owns the country and owns the universe, has finished it. So, every manipulation of man that is not right before Him will fail. God is going to intervene in Nigerian politics and elections in 2023 and it doesn’t matter the gimmicks.”