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OPINION: How Throwing Its Presidential Ticket Open May Later Affect PDP

Indication emerged that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will throw its presidential ticket open to all party members to contest.

2023: PDP will lose election without zoning- Ex-gov Tapgun Image credit: The Punch

In this case, it means that anybody who is a member of the party stands a chance of winning the ticket irrespective of which region or geopolitical zone the person hails from. This indication was made public after PDP gave North the nod to contest for its presidential ticket too. This happened after the party zoned the post of PDP National Chairman to the North. But before the North endorsed former Senate President, Iyocrhia Ayu, as its consensus candidate for the post, the PDP gave the region strong assurance that aspirants from there can still vie for President under the party.

PDP Convention: Shema, Ningi step down as North picks Ayu as consensus  chairmanship candidate

Image credit: Vanguard

How this may affect PDP later

First, it may weaken PDP's internal democracy. This means that many PDP members may lose hope in the party's internal democratic process which has zoning as one of its major components. Going by PDP tradition, the South is supposed to produce the party's presidential candidate since the North has been given the chance to produce the National Chairman. Moreover, the National Chairman and the presidential candidate are not supposed to come from the same zone. This tradition has been observed over the years. Going against it may lead to apathy or open opposition from some members of the party and this could affect the PDP.

Image credit: Platinum Post

Secondly, many Southerners may feel cheated by the PDP if the party goes ahead with the plan. Many Nigerian are calling for power shift to South in 2023. Some people are demanding that all the major political parties should zone their presidential tickets to the South. The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, seems to be ready to do this. Failing to zone its ticket to the South as many Nigerians expect will affect PDP. Again, throwing the ticket open for everybody including Northerners may make PDP members from South to feel cheated. This can lead to lack of support, apathy or even defections from PDP to other parties that will give give South their ticket.

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Image credit: Premium Times

Thirdly, throwing the ticket open to all may lead to crisis in the party. Over the years, the party has always zoned the ticket. Even in 2019 elections, PDP zoned it to the North which led to the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as its presidential candidate. Failing to zone it to the South may lead to crisis in the PDP. In fact, throwing it open for all may lead to the emergence of a candidate from the North again. This will make things worse for the PDP since North already produced the National Chairman. This may lead to clash of interests that can throw the party into more serious crisis. No doubt, the crisis will affect PDP's chances of winning elections especially the presidential election.

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Iyocrhia Ayu North PDP PDP National Senate


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