- Okwesilieze Nwodo, a member of the BoT of the PDP, says Governor Ayo Fayose is not qualified for 2019 presidential election
- Nwodo says no politician from the southern part of Nigeria is qualified to contest for the PDP primary ahead of the election
- He says the party would soon ensure that all members adhere to its decisions
Okwesilieze Nwodo, a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has declared that Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state is not qualified to contest in the party’s primary election for the 2019 presidential election.
NAIJ.com learnt that Nwodo, a former national chairman of the party, said on Thursday, September 28, in Abuja shortly after Fayose’s formal declaration, the party’s ideology does not permit the governor or any other person from the south to contest for the presidency in 2019.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Nwodo as saying: “Fayose cannot run and I will tell you my reason.
“When we formed PDP, the first battle we fought and won as a party was to zone the presidency to the south.
“Those of us from the south made a case because in the first republic, prime minister was from the North; in the second republic, the president was from the North, and in the third republic, a southerner won and the election was annulled.
“There was no way we could go back to the south and say let’s elect a northerner again without giving the south a slot.
“A decision was taken that the presidency should come from the south and the chairman of the party to come from the north.
“That was how Solomon Lar became the chairman of PDP and secretary was zoned to the south; that was how I became the first secretary of the party.”
Mr Nwodo said the party would soon ensure that all its decisions are obeyed by members adding that those who jettisoned the PDP’s instructions in the past failed.
“For example, late Abubakar Rimi, former Governor of Kano state paid for a form and wanted to run.
“Then I was the national secretary, I returned his cheque and informed him that the party had taken a decision that the presidential candidate could only come from southern Nigeria.
“When we went to the convention in Jos, he went to the venue and started to campaign without having a form because we didn’t give him.
“We had to get some party leaders around to go and counsel him; we didn’t want security agencies to manhandle or embarrass him and good counsel prevailed and he stepped down.
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“That was what PDP did and now we did not only zone the presidency to the north, we have re-emphasised at every opportunity we had that the zoning will take place.
“So, the party will not collect expression of interest money from anybody else who is not from the north and will not issue him a nomination form to contest; no, we will not do that," he said.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested the finance commissioner as well as the accountant-general in Ekiti state while Governor Ayodele Fayose was declaring his presidential ambition for 2019.
Information about their arrest broke hours after the governor declared his ambition to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 general election on Thursday, September 28.
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