The battle for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 2023 presidential ticket might be between a maximum of five aspirants, INFOXCLUSIVE has accumulated.
One is “unquestionably” Vice President Atiku Abubakar who is by all accounts facing an internal obstruction by chieftains leaders who desire a “more younger aspirant”.
A veteran hopeful, the Wazirin Adamawa has run for President five times – 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 – on various stages.
“Except sickness or death, Atiku and Bola Tinubu (APC) are going head-to-head in 2023. Both of them know this and are already mapping out strategies to counter themselves”, an insider earlier stated.
It was assembled that rival forces are attempting to shave Atiku’s impact within the leading opposition party.
At the October 2018 PDP primary in Port Harcourt, a few stalwarts, for example, Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike worked for Sokoto Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.
Wike was supposedly keen on arising as Tambuwal’s running mate in the presidential political race. However, Atiku amazed his challengers to turn into the flagbearer.
PDP Convention Committee Chairman and Delta Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa pronounced the results at the Adokiye Amesiamaka Stadium.
Atiku polled 1,532 votes while Tambuwal had 693. Different candidates and scores: former Senate President Bukola Saraki – 317; ex-Kano Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso 158; ex-Gombe Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo – 111; ex-Jigawa Governor Sule Lamido – 96.
The rest: ex-Kaduna Governor Ahmed Makarfi – 74; ex-Special Duties Minister Tanimu Turaki – 65; former Sokoto Governor Attahiru Bafarawa – 48; ex-Senate President David Mark-35; ex-Plateau Governor Jonah Jang – 19; former Kaduna Senator Datti Ahmed – 5.
INFOXCLUSIVE assembled that considering Atiku’s strength, leaders who are not on his side are looking for ways of settling on a “consensus selection”.
On Thursday in Abuja, Saraki, Tambuwal and Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed met to examine how the party can wrestle power from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The meeting has stirred speculations that their ultimate objective is to present the “strongest aspirant” to go up against Atiku. Sources demand the one-time Customs Director is the man to beat.
“Many contenders for the ticket means the votes will be split. If every person that obtains form gets on the ballot, I think we will have a repeat of what played out in 2018”, one said.
The camps of Saraki and Tambuwal didn’t respond to enquiries looking for their situation on the theory. The next meeting of the threesome has been booked for Sokoto.
Meanwhile, Wike and other PDP positioning members from the South are requesting that the presidential ticket be zoned to the area.
On Thursday, PDP National Chairman Iyorchia Ayu declared that the party will regard zoning since it had been a piece of its custom throughout the long term.
The 37-member zoning committee he initiated will present their report on the sharing of offices next Wednesday.
However, during his visit to Minna, Niger State, Tambuwal completely let journalists know that the PDP wouldn’t zone the presidency.
The former lawmaker talked after separate meetings with former Heads of State, retired Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar.
Tambuwal noted that zoning to a specific area of the nation has never been the principle factor in any political party since 1979.
The governor said the rise of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 was “a deliberate action by the political class” to calm nerves after the cancellation of the June 12, 1993 election.
“Zoning of power to the South-West was meant to assuage a particular situation at that time, not meant to completely erode the constitutional right of Nigerian citizens.
“In 2007, Chief Rochas Okorocha from the South-East contested the presidency with ex-President Umaru Yar’Adua. When you look at the past, you will agree that zoning has not been the main issue in our political journey.
“What is paramount to PDP is how to win the 2023 elections, not waste its energy on zoning controversy. Nigeria, at this point, is in dire need of a President with competence and capacity, not a regional president”, he attested.
Currently, five PDP top shots have picked nomination forms. They are Atiku (ex-VP); Anyim Pius Anyim (ex-Senate President); Saraki (former Kwara Governor); Tambuwal (ex-House of Representatives Speaker); Mohammed (former FCT Minister).
Peter Obi, former Anambra Governor and Vice Presidential Candidate, is expected to get his form in the coming days.
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