Main opposition political party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) may lose its dominance of the South East geo-political zone of the country in the forthcoming 2023 general elections as its stalwarts are dumping the platform for alternative platforms.
It would be recalled that the zone had been the stronghold of the party since 1999 and even in the past seven years the party became the opposition party and lost the presidency in 2015.
Specifically, the zone feels shortchanged by the PDP as it appears that the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) is not abiding by its zoning formula that would have seen the party zoning its presidential ticket to the south, which the south east maintains that it is their turn to produce the next presidential candidate.
Yesterday, former governor of Anambra state and frontline presidential aspirant on the platform of PDP, Mr. Peter Obi resigned his membership of the party and consequently, withdrew from the presidential contest.
Peter Obi was the presidential running mate to Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the party.
Instructive also is the withdrawal from the gubernatorial primaries by the Senate Minority Whip, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu in Abia and Enugu states respectively.
Both senior party leaders claimed in their respective letters of withdrawal that they have not been treated fairly by the party.
However, multiple sources that spoke to the Nigerian Pilot yesterday said that these leaders and their supporters would likely be looking for alternative political platforms for the actualization of their aspirations.
To buttress the above development, Mr. Peter Obi in a letter of resignation and withdrawal from the presidential race dated May 24, 2022 cited that the “recent developments within the party make it practically impossible to continue participating.”
The letter which was addressed to the National Chairmen of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu said that he had already resigned from his Ward in Agulu Ward 2, Anaocha LGA , Anambra state, effective Friday, May 20, 2022.
Obi’s letter reads in part; “It has been a great honour to contribute to nation-building efforts through our party. Unfortunately, recent developments within our party make it practically impossible to continue participating and making constructive contributions.
“Our national challenges are deep-seated and require that we each make profound sacrifices towards rescuing our country. My commitment to rescuing Nigeria remains firm, even if the route differs.”
One of Peter Obi’s confidants, Dr. Doyin Okupe had a few days ago raised the alarm that the party’s NWC members were not according Obi the courtesies due him as a former governor and former vice presidential candidate of the party.
Okupe had hinted that it appeared that the Ayu-led NWC already had a predetermined candidate to give the party’s presidential ticket.
These developments in the South East it is generally believed may have generally eroded the confidence of the party faithful in the zone, even as it is not clear as at the time of going to press the alternate political platforms these leading lights would pinch their tents in the run up to the 2023 general polls.