Some bigwigs in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have commenced underground politicking to prepare grounds in order to contest the party’s presidential ticket ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Top sources in the party told our correspondent yesterday in Abuja that the majority of those who contested the ticket prior to the 2019 elections were also warming up to re-contest in spite of the fact that the party was yet to reach any resolution on 2023 zoning formula.
The 2019 contenders who slugged it out at the presidential primary in Port Harcourt were; Atiku Abubakar (North East), 1,532 votes; Governor Aminu Tambuwal (North West), 693 votes; Senator Bukola Saraki (North Central), 317 votes; Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (North West), 158 votes; former governor of Gombe state, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (North East), 111 votes; former governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido (North West), 96 votes.
Others were Senator Ahmed Makarfi (North West), 74 votes; former Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Turaki (North West), 65 votes; former governor of Sokoto state, Attahiru Bafarawa (North West), 48 votes; former Senate President, David Mark (North Central), 35 votes; former governor of Plateau state, Jonah Jang (North Central), 19 votes and Datti Ahmed (North West), 5 votes.
According to the Daily Trust who reported that already the social media space is awash with posters of a former governor of Kano state, Senator Kwankwaso who came fourth in the previous race, indicating he would re-contest the party’s apex ticket.
Some of the posters sighted by our reporter on Facebook, yesterday carried the inscriptions such as, ‘Our Mission and Vision 2023; Kwankwaso for President, Federal Republic of Nigeria’, ‘Best Choice 2023; Kwankwaso for President Federal Republic of Nigeria.’
The posters were adorned with the picture of the former governor, the PDP colours of red, white, green, and its umbrella logo.
Some PDP stalwarts confirmed that some youths were, however, threatening some top leaders of the party to either again zone the party’s 2023 apex ticket to the North East or face a massive protest in the event their request was not heeded to.
A member of the National Executive Committee (NEC), which is the second highest decision-making organ of the party, told our correspondent in confidence that the PDP considered the threat a move to cause chaos and disaffection within its rank and file and had written to the Department of State Service (DSS) and the police top echelons to investigate the issue.
“They should not forget the party has a Constitution and guidelines. We have not even discussed zoning. So, why are some people so concerned about the presidential ticket being zoned to a particular region?
“We have to make a lot of consultations. The National Working Committee (NWC) has to make a lot of consultations. Our governors have to make a lot of consultations. Then, the NEC will take a decision,” he said.
However, it was learnt that some PDP stalwarts in the South such as a former Deputy National Chairman (South) and former national chairmanship contender, Chief Bode George, were perfecting plans to officially join the race.
George’s political associates confirmed to report that he was activating his structures in the party to challenge other contenders.