(L-R) Sam Ohuabunwa, Anyim Pius Anyim, Peter Obi and Nwachukwu Anakwenze at the end of the meeting on Saturday p
To brighten the chance of the South-East geo-political zone to produce the presidential candidate come the 2023 presidential elections, aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday agreed to work together to protect their collective interests.
It was a rare case of a display of solidarity and unity of purpose, as four of the presidential aspirants urged the party’s leadership to zone the 2023 presidential ticket to the region.
The demand was part of their resolutions at the end of their meeting in Abuja on Saturday.
The aspirants at the meeting included the former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim; former.Anambra State governor, Peter Obi; one-time governor of Anambra State and industrialist, Sam Ohuabunwa, and politician, Nwachukwu Anakwenze.
In a communique signed by the quartet at the end of the meeting and read by Anyim, they four aspirants ssid they agreed to work together as a team to ensure a South Easterner emerges as PDP flag bearer.
They also decided to continue consultations with the leaders of other geopolitical zones on their demand, which they said was based on fairness and equity.
“In doing so, it is important to note that we have always supported other zones and we now expect them to reciprocate. It is to our knowledge that more aspirants may have obtained forms under PDP, and we hope they will join us later,” the presidential aspirants said.
On whether they were working towards presenting a consensus candidate from among them, Anyim said: “When we get to the bridge, we will cross it. We will work together in the interest of the party, in the interest of the nation and in the interest of the South East geopolitical zone.”
On whether their meeting enjoyed the support from the South-East PDP governors, the former Senate President said the aspirants were not in a position to speak for the governors.
Although the 37-member Zoning Committee appointed by the party to resolve the issue of zoning recently decided to throw open the contest for the Presidential ticket to all geopolitical zones in the country, some zones insist zoning remained sacrosanct as enshrined in the party’s constitution.
The Committee was presided by Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom.
Of all the six geo-political zones in the country, the South-East region has been the least favoured since the rotational presidency arrangement began.
Consequently, members of the party from the zone have insisted that for purposes of fairness, equity and justice, the 2023 presidential ticket should be zoned to the region, which has produced neither a president nor vice president since 1999.