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2023: There’s zoning in PDP constitution, says Kawu Baraje

Author:
Samuel Akpan

Abubakar Kawu Baraje, former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says there is zoning in the constitution of the party. 

Baraje spoke on Wednesday in Ilorin, capital of Kwara state, while briefing reporters ahead of his coronation as ‘Tafida of Ilorin’ on Friday.

Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, there have been calls for the PDP to zone its presidential ticket to the south.

But last week, Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, said there is no provision for zoning political offices in Nigeria’s constitution.

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“Fundamentally, the constitution says all of us can run,” Atiku had said.

Speaking on Wednesday Baraje said zoning is “clearly stated” in the PDP constitution to give party members a sense of belonging.

“It’s not in the constitution of PDP before, but it is now clearly stated in the PDP constitution that zoning should be respected,” NAN quoted him as saying.

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“There is a caveat in the constitution which say that zoning should be respected for the purpose of giving a sense of belonging to all members of the party and for all-inclusiveness except and only when a resolution of the national executive council (NEC) decide otherwise.

“It is stated in the constitution black and white, it was reviewed in the constitution sometime around 2011. Although, before then, it was an oral tradition of PDP and it was even as good as being written.

“I met it like that when I took over as party national secretary in 2008. Even when it was an oral tradition of the party, it was highly respected.

“It was formally included in our party constitution in 2011 when we were reviewing the party constitution before I left in 2011.”

Asked about the statement of the former vice-president and chieftain of the PDP, Baraje said: “I think what His excellency, Alhaji Atiku, was talking about was Nigeria constitution, not PDP. If I got him right, he said zoning is not in Nigeria constitution.”

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