Presidency 2023 Uncertainty reigns in PDP
…as Northern aspirants insist on the slot
With the inauguration of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) 2021 Convention committee, the battle for various positions in the party has now begun. In their meeting last week, the party in addition to the convention planning committee. It also set up the zoning committee headed by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state.
This has also heightened the power play and intrigues expected politically for positions in the party, which would now be based on zoning. The most contentious position is the chairmanship, because it will determine the zone that produces the president.
Former chairman, Mr. Uche Secondus, was removed because he was perceived by some groups in the party especially from the south of harbouring second term ambition at the behest of northern interests to deny south the presidency, as the president and chairman must come from the two different.
From the calculations going on, the convention of the party on October 30 would now have to contend with zoning of the various positions in the party, especially, the chairman which is now bone of contention.
Although it is said that the PDP from feelers must have zoned the Presidency to the North, there were indications that those interested in the South are kicking against such move.
This situation is already a source of concern to the party but those in favour of the North having the presidency in order to make it clinch seem to be more than those who favoured the South.
As a matter of fact, those jostling for the presidency in the North and who have shown interests appear to be more prominent and vocal than those in the South, especially, from the South East and the South South. The prominent position which the south is being considered for is that of the National chairman and the South West is mostly favoured.
Those who are interested in the Chairmanship from the South include, former governor of Osun state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former governorship candidate, of the PDP in Ondo State, Barrister Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), former deputy governor of Bayelsa Rtd. Rear Admiral Gboribigha John Jonah, former governor of Cross Rivers Liyel Imoke, Chief Olabode George and former Vice Chairman, South West Eddy Olafeso.
All these names have those who are behind them especially among those who are interested in the presidency, who believed that whoever becomes the Chairman of the party would favour and enhance their chances.
From the looks of things, it appears that, though the North is favoured, the zones in hot contention are the North East and the North West.There were others from the south East and the South South. Only the South West alone have shown interest.
Those who are being speculated to be interested in the presidency in the South include, the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, Governor Ifeayi Okowa of Delta State and former Governor of Anambra State Peter Obi.
With the perceived zoning to the North, those in the North West and North East have shown serious interest.However, this comes against southern governors’ forum insistence that the presidentcy of the two parties be zoned to the south.
In hot contention are the former vice President Atiku Abubakar from the North East, the incumbent Bauchi State Govenor Senator Bala Muhammed) North East), former governors of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido and Saminu Turaki are from the North West.Also from the zone is the former governor of Kano State Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The only strong contender from the North Central in the race, is the former Kwara state governor and former Senate President Senator Bukola Saraki. It is speculated that the battle would be a fierce one because of the big wings involved.
The obstacle which those in the North would face is the fact that South East and South South constitute the strongest electoral base of the party.
From what happened in 2019, the PDP primary election was a straight battle among about 10 heavyweights: Atiku, Saraki, Tambuwal, Dr Musa Kwakwanso, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Ibrahim Shekarau, Attahiru Bafarawa Bala Muhammed and Saminu Turaki and others but from the look of things the list may not be as long as they had it in the 2019 Portharcout congress which eventually produced Atiku.
The irony of the whole thing is that these people were also prominent in the 2018 primaries and that is why political observers were saying that the October 30 congress for the presidency is going to be a repeat of 2018.
In 2018 primaries, Atiku who came first got 1, 532, Tambuwal 693, Saraki 317, while Turaki had 65 votes.With the current situation, it is pertinent to have a look at those in the race from both the North East, North West and North Central