Presidential aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have continued to intensify their lobby of about 2, 340 delegates that will vote at the primary, to be held in Abuja this weekend.
Party sources said most of the delegates are concerned about electing a candidate that has the capacity and national appeal to defeat whoever emerges from the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary holding between May 29 and 30.
But PDP screening committee has given a nod to 15 out of seventeen aspirants that purchased the presidential forms to slug it among themselves in an election where the delegates will decide the flag bearer of the party.
Investigations, however, revealed that former vice-president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki; former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi and the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike are the leading contenders for the ticket.
Though other contestants, including Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal and his Akwa Ibom counterpart, Emmanuel Edom are capable of springing surprises. Further investigation also revealed how delegates from each of the 36 states and FCT Abuja are likely to vote at the primary.
A Southeast state under the leadership of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, would not mind a candidate from the southern zone, in this case Peter Obi. But with the governor recently openly declaring support for Wike, votes here would be shared between the Rivers State governor and Obi, although Wike stands a better chance with Ikpeazu.
Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, is for Atiku and being his home state, the Adamawa delegates will naturally vote Atiku 100 per cent, both on personal recognition and the governor’s influence.
Akwa Ibom State
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, is also in the race for the PDP presidential ticket and since governors are in natural control of their delegates, there’s no debating where the delegates in Akwa Ibom would vote. But, it would be votes wasted at the end of the day.
As their governor for eight years, the period of which was believed to have accounted for their best, at least, as the narrative has remained, Anambra State would have been considered a 100 per cent deal for Obi, factoring the home zone advantage, but it is not. While he is going to have an edge, he is definitely sharing the delegates with Atiku, at least, some percentage yanked off his stake.
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauch State, is also a presidential hopeful, but might have been caught between returning to office as governor and trying his luck at the presidential primary. But in the event he chooses to back any of his co-aspirants and enters into any form of negotiations, Mohammed might direct the Bauchi delegates to vote for Saraki. Until then, Bauchi is standing with its governor…