In spite denial of jettison zoning by the Benue State Governor andchairman, Zoning Committee of the PDP, Dr Samuel Ortom, an Abuja basedlawyer and former Senatorial candidate for Imo East in the 2019general election, Mr Chyma Anthony has urged voters in the southeastof Nigeria to reject the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) if it does notzone the presidential ticket of the party to the south.
Governor Ortom who recently reacted to backlash over the purportedthrowing open the PDP presidential ticket, reiterated that his zoningcommittee will present the report to National Executive Committee (NEof the party,saying it is the NEC that has the final authority on thezoning of positions.
Reacting to the development, Mr Anthony , an Imo East senatorial hopeful in a press statement onTuesday in Abuja accused the PDP of trading the interest of the southand in particular the people of the southeast who have been loyalsupporters of the party since 1999.
Anthony accused the PDP of ingratitude and acting with a short memoryof history of the vote pattern of the people of the southeast. He saidthe southeast have in the past voted overwhelming for the PDP andshould not be traded off for the selfish interest of some groups.
He said the people of the region are not cowards and cannot be cowedinto accepting an open contest for the PDP presidential ticket inorder to satisfy the greedy yearnings of a few.
Anthony therefore urged the people of the southeast to reject the PDPfor any other political party that considers their interest first.
He said that if this development is coming from the APC, it will beunderstandable as the southeast have voted minimally for the partysince its inception.
“As far as I am concerned, there are no cogent argument for thepresidential candidate of the party not be zoned to the South.
“I wondered why the PDP had decided to jettison zoning when on populardemand it is the turn of the South and particularly the southeast toproduce the next president of Nigeria.
“The Igbos has made a lot of emotional investment in the PDP which hasnot yielded much.
It is our love for PDP that blinded us so much that despite ourbrothers;Late Dr Chuba Okadigbo and Late Chief Ume-Ezeoke being chosenby President Muhammadu Buhari as running mates in 2003 and 2007respectively under ANPP, we still did not show the actual solidaritythat we should have.
“These two were amongst our best brains yet we followed a party thatabandoned our own in 1999 at the last minute. Even this time being theopportunity for the party to right its wrong by micro zoning tosoutheast yet it throws it open. What does that tell us?”, Anthonyargued?
He further described the decision of the party to throw open thecontest as a negation of justice and fairness committed by the partyagainst the devoted and loyal people of the southeast of Nigeria.
He added that the people of the region will en masse vote any partythat considers the southeast in picking its presidential candidate,even as strong indication have emerged of the APC picking itspresidential candidate from the south and likely from the southeastregion.
“I therefore urged the voters of the southeast to dump the PDP in 2023should it jettison zoning and consider another strong party in theregion like the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) as we cannot beloyal without a reward,” Anthony said.