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A former national legal adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Mark Jacob, has debunked the rumour making rounds that PDP has zoned its presidential ticket to the Northern part of the country.

Hon. Mark Jacob, who is also a one time Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice in Kaduna State disclosed this when he appeared on Arise TV's The Morning Show, on Monday.

"Nobody has discussed anything on zoning in our party, we have not zoned our party's presidential ticket to the North. Infact, the feeling among members of the Party is that it should be zoned to the Southern part of the country", he said. 

According to him, though it's democracy and every member has the right to their opinion while the party would not take unpopular opinion from any of its members.  

A national newspaper recently reported that there is a high likelihood that the PDP will pick its presidential candidate for the 2023 elections from the northern part of the country. 

The paper also said the party's stakeholders are set to zone the chairmanship position of the party to the South.

But during its 92nd National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at the weekend, the party had announced that it would arrive at a zoning formula for the National Working Committee (NWC) at a meeting billed for September 9.

This comes as the struggle for political power among the political gladiators hots up ahead of the party’s national convention slated for October 30 and 31, the paper had reported. 

It will be recalled that as a way of resolving the contestation over which zone produces the presidency in 2023, the leadership of the PDP had earlier in the year appointed the Bauchi state Governor, Bala Mohammed as chairman of the party’s committee charged with a responsibility to review the factors that led to the party’s loss in the 2019 election and to make recommendations for the way forward. 

One of the highlights of Bala’s committee report was the recommendation that zoning of the PDP presidential ticket for the 2023 poll be jettisoned. 

The report however, added that the committee received numerous memoranda from diverse groups and interests calling for the party’s joint presidential ticket to be zoned to the Northeast and the Southeast. 

It is believed that the contestation will be laid to rest after the October 31 elective convention where a new NWC will be produced. 

In line with the North/South power zoning arrangement, should the North produce the chairmanship, then the South will be in a position to produce the party’s presidential candidate

Meanwhile, a political commentator, Adetayo Balogun, has warned the PDP against zoning its presidential ticket to the North. 

Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Monday, Balogun said discussions about the region to produce the next President has begun and the PDP shouldn't make the mistake of giving the ticket to the North.

"In searching for the next President, there’s a debated preference for a Southerner to emerge; however, a section of the populace and those in the political space have clamoured for a united approach to the determination of the next President", he said. 

On his part, Katch Ononuju, the Director-General of the Heritage Centre, in an interview argued that there’s no politician of the northern extraction that can bring Nigerians together again. 

Ononuju said many Nigerians would prefer to see a Southerner become President, as the current administration has shown a nepotistic obsession with the North, which may affect the chances of any Presidential candidate from the region.

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