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Northern leaders of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have stepped up efforts to produce a consensus chairmanship candidate ahead of the October 30 national convention of the party.
Africa Today News, New York had earlier reported that the zoning committee headed by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State had zoned the position to the North.
In the aftermath of the zoning, the Northern leaders have held series of meeting on how to harmonise their positions and present a consensus candidate.
After one of its meetings, the three geo-political zones in the North – North East, North Central, and North West were requested to present their choice candidates for the chairmanship seat.
The northern PDP leaders, including governors and other party bigwigs, were locked in a crucial meeting in Abuja at the time of filing this report, to chose a consensus candidate.
The North Central had in a meeting at the Benue State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja on Tuesday night adopted former Senate president, Iyorchia Ayu.
Governor Samuel Ortom said Ayu would be presented to the larger Northern caucus of the PDP at a meeting in Abuja last night.
‘I think that by the grace of God they will also accept him,’ the Benue governor stated.
Similarly, the North West PDP, at a meeting, in Abuja, last night, adopted former governor of Kastina State, Ibrahim Shema, as its consensus candidate.
The Northern caucus is expected to pick either Ayu, Shema, and whoever the North East will present.
However, former national chairman of the party, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has said aspirants from North Central would vie for the 2023 presidential ticket notwithstanding the arrangement that gave the nod to the zone to produce the next national chairman.
Baraje, in a statement, noted that the zone would follow to the letter the earlier declaration of the National Executive Committee (NEC) that zoning of party offices would not affect who flies the party flags for various elective offices.
He advised that the PDP should sustain its tradition of justice, equity and fairness by ensuring that the zone, which has not produced a substantive national chairman in the North is allowed to present a candidate capable of leading the party to victory in the next election.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK