An Igbo group, the Igbo Leadership Development Foundation (ILDF) has vowed to challenge the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in court if it fails to give its presidential ticket to a southeast candidate.
This is the group kicked against the decision of the party to throw open its presidential ticket.
The PDP had, on May 11, announced that it would not zone its presidential ticket.
The party’s decision was taken after a meeting of the national executive committee (NEC) meeting at the party’s headquarters in Abuja.
In a statement on Monday, Speaking on the ILDF said the PDP’s decision on zoning goes against the constitution of the party and the principle of federal character.
“ILDF wants to also place on record our condemnation in strongest possible terms, the acceptance and endorsement of the recommendation of the Ortom PDP zoning committee that the PDP presidential ticket be thrown open,” the statement reads.
“This is self-evident since Gov Ortom made it clear that the decision was unanimous and none of them has challenged him since then.
“The so-called representatives of the South-East in that Committee therefore represented only themselves and should bear in mind that they have truly betrayed our people and given the PDP the impetus and leeway to trample on the right of South-East, whose turn it is to produce Nigeria’s President for 2023. Posterity will not be kind to them.
“As already stated, ILDF twice told Nigerians that we shall challenge PDP’s action in court if the party does not produce a South-East presidential candidate. We have since done so and even expanded the dragnet to include all the 18 registered political parties.
“ILDF is in an Abuja Federal High Court since 2021 for a judgment that will compel the political parties to adhere to the provisions of Federal Character in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and zone their presidential tickets to the South-East. This legal battle will also consequentially compel the PDP to respect its own laws.
“For the records, PDP wrote into its constitution, the principle of rotation of the office of the president between North and South Nigeria. For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP party constitution amended in 2009 states in Article 7(2c): ‘In pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness, the party shall adhere to the policy of rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices, and it shall be enforced by the appropriate executive committee at all levels.’
“Apart from the violation of Federal Character, this express and extant provision in its own Constitution is what the PDP is bent on flagrantly violating as if there can be no consequences.
“We warn again, there will be consequences, even beyond legal remedy, which we are already seeking.”
The ILDF commended Ike Ibe, former speaker of Abia house of assembly, over his decision to file a suit against the PDP over the zoning of the presidential ticket.
The foundation also praised Peter Obi, presidential hopeful on the PDP platform, and other aspirants of south-east extraction, saying they “have all put to shame our detractors who touted the zone as having no viable aspirants”.
In its message to delegates, ILDF urged them to “think deeply about the future of our nation and that of their own children”, before taking a decision on who to vote for.
“Like we once stated and warned in the press conference where we urged Peter Obi to join the race, integrity is the foremost qualification for the leader that Nigeria and Nigerians need in 2023,” they said.
“In the absence of integrity, we may end up electing a competent rogue and repeat the mistakes of the past, and our suffering and underdevelopment continue. Integrity first.
“May God see Nigeria and Nigerians through 2023. Let common sense prevail for the sake of social justice, equity, unity and progress in our beloved nation, Nigeria.”
ILDF officials who signed the statement are Godwin Udibe, chairman; Law Mefor, vice-chairman/director of public affairs; Onyebuchi Obeta, national secretary; Chike Afoekelu, director of finance and Sunny Eduputa, director, Lagos/south-west.