Sequel to the outcome of Southern Governor’s Forum meeting in Asaba, Delta State in July 2021 where Governors of the ruling APC and the main opposition party PDP met and resolved to zone the 2023 Presidency of Nigeria to the South, the People Democratic Party PDP from sings and indications seen in the preparation of Party National Convention that will hold of October 30th or 31st seems to have jettisoned the region plans.
Indicators of the People Democratic Party PDP to agree with the All Progressive Congress APC Governors on one thing and do another became obvious when it becoming clearer that PDP want to keep its Party Chairmanship in the South.
Confirmation of the People Democratic Party PDP’s plan to keep its Chairmanship in the South is seen in the intentions of the Party incumbent National Chairman Uche Secondus to seek re-election.
Others contesting against him are all Southerners and they are: The former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; former Deputy National Chairman (Southwest), Chief Bode George; three-time Lagos State governorship aspirant, Jimi Agbaje; Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah; and former Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke.
9News Nigeria investigations reveals the intentions of the Party leadership who believe that if the PDP wants to win the election, it must go to the North to choose its presidential candidate and that will give it an advantage over the All Progressives Congress – APC
Also, some party leaders argue that the South had produced the last President by PDP and he spent six years in office. So, going by zoning arrangement, the PDP should go to the North in the search for the Presidential flag bearer.
Party sources said the PDP is more concerned about returning to Aso Rock and zoning its Presidential ticket to the South according to its antecedent is to reduce its internal crisis.
If the party succeeds with its scheme of zoning the Presidential candidate slot to the North, the presidential ambitions of aspirants like Governors, Nyesom Wike, Udom Emmanuel, Emmanuel Ikpeazu, Ifeanyi Okowa and Peter Obi may have hit the wall.
Although there are many PDP presidential aspirants from the North, former Vice President Abubakar Atiku, Senator Bukola Saraki, Governor Aminu Tambuwal and Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed are believed to be top contenders for the party’s flag.
However, some PDP leaders are already looking beyond Atiku for a young and vibrant member they think the party can easily sell to Nigerians. They believe Atiku has become a serial aspirant, having contested consecutively since 2007.
It’s also alleged that Atiku abandoned the party immediately after he lost the 2019 election and travelled out of the country.
They said he did not even attend the court sessions during the hearing of the election petitions filed on his loss of the election both at the tribunal and appellate courts. They argued that if Atiku had provided leadership, the party would not be in the crisis that it is and would not have lost some of its key members.
And according to some leaders of the Party, age and issues of health are also not on Atiku’s side and he does not meet the requirements set by former Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, which have gained acceptance from both the political class and the general public.
Some party leaders advised Bala Mohammed to go for second term and work hard to reinforce the party in his State and the Northeast. This reduces the contest to both Saraki and Tambuwal. Party leaders said both of them have national appeals and capacity to bring back some party leaders that had left the party.
While Tambuwal is favoured because he is from the North West, Saraki who is from the North Central is said to be more acceptable by party leaders across the zones. A party source said, “If it is about competence, capability, capacity and courage, Saraki is the man for Nigeria in 2023.”
PDP leaders, who expressed optimism that the party stands a good chance to win the 2023 presidential election, hinged their optimism on what they described as “failure of APC to improve the economy and security, and its failure to fulfill campaign promises to Nigerians.”