AS the northern caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gets set to reach a possible compromise on chairmanship at a meeting in Abuja today, a former national chairman of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has said the North-Central has qualified sons and daughters that would vie for the 2023 presidential ticket.
His position was contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, coming amidst the moves by some elements from the zone to secure chairmanship instead of presidency for the NorthCentral.
Baraje noted that the zone would follow to the letter the earlier declaration of the Na- tional Executive Committee (NEC) that zoning of party offices would not affect who be- comes the candidate of party for various elective offices.
He said the people of the zone aspire to produce the next president of the coun- try, as the zone had produced five national chairmen for the party. He urged the PDP to sustain its tradition of justice, equity and fairness by ensuring that the zone which had not pro- duced a substantive national chairman in the North is allowed to present a candidate capable of leading the party to victory in the next election.
He added that the NorthCentral had produced five national chairmen in the 23- year history of the PDP while the North-East had produced two, adding that the NorthWest had produced only one interim chairman and a caretaker chairman.
“From the late Chief Solomon Lar, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Dr Ahmadu Alli, Chief Barnabas Gemade and myself, all of us from North-Central have led the party at different times.
“Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu from the North-East have emerged as national chairman while Dr Haliru Bello spent only one year as acting chairman with Senator Ahmed Makarfi serving as caretaker chairman.
“With this history, in the spirit of fairness and equity, the North-West is most suitable to produce the next chairman.
“We have noted that some leaders outside the NorthCentral zone are scheming and exerting a lot of energy to push the national chairmanship position to the zone, to ensure that the post is not in their zone.
“If the chairman eventually comes from the North-Central zone, it is just an extra for us. Presidential aspirants from the zones will still vie for the post,” he said