There’s a excessive risk that the primary opposition Peoples Democratic Celebration (PDP) would possibly choose its presidential candidate for the 2023 basic election from the North, as stakeholders are set to zone the chairmanship place of the occasion to the South in a matter of weeks.
This, nevertheless, seems opposite to the survey by the THISDAY Financial Intelligence Group (EIG), which gleaned from the sector that the choice might price PDP the elections in virtually all of the southern states, the presidency and governorship inclusive.
Findings additionally revealed that the PDP may not make any considerable beneficial properties within the north and Middlebelt states both, because the All Progressives Congress (APC), continues to be prone to sweep the north even with a Southern candidate.
One key actuality of the present state of play is that the PDP continues to be susceptible in lots of northern states, together with those it presently controls and those it doesn’t. The occasion would possibly, nevertheless, lose states like Taraba, Benue and be unable to win again Plateau, if it determined to zone the presidency to the north.
On the centre of the battle of attrition over the chairmanship of the occasion lies the determined permutations of the place the occasion zones its presidential ticket to. The Southerners, who need Secondus out, need him out to pave the best way for a substitute from the north, whereas the northern group led by Atiku and co, desires him to both keep or get replaced by one other southerner to solidify their push for the presidential ticket to be zoned to the north.
Within the south, the notably susceptible key states that the PDP is prone to lose are Delta, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Oyo, if the ruling APC performed good by zoning its presidential ticket to the South. Such a transfer, findings confirmed, might give the APC a sweeping momentum within the countdown to the 2023 elections that will see it sustaining its maintain on energy.
In accordance with the THISDAY EIG survey, “If the PDP zones the Presidency to the North, they’re prone to lose all their present Southern states, primarily, due to the temper within the South that Nigeria’s Presidency ought to rotate between the North and the South.
“Most Southerners consider that, for fairness, stability, cohesion, safety and stability of the union, the subsequent president ought to come from the Southern a part of Nigeria, after Buhari would have accomplished eight years in 2023. To suggest in any other case is sort of an anathema among the many political class and even among the many common southerner.
“It’s that temper of the southern people who was mirrored when 17 southern governors met and requested that the president ought to go to the South. Proper now, Southern leaders are so united that they don’t need to be divided on the difficulty and don’t thoughts the place within the south the president comes from – whether or not from the South-east, South-south or South-west.
“They’re of the view that it’s within the collective curiosity of the complete south to provide the subsequent president. They consider all southern individuals ought to be entitled to run and whoever will get the ticket from the area can be accepted.
“That is truly the undercurrent within the disaster over Uche Secondus’ chairmanship in PDP, which has pitted Governor Nyesom Wike towards Secondus, with many southern governors silently supporting Wike’s place, believing that if Secondus retains the chairmanship of the occasion after the conference, the Presidency would robotically go to the North, which they don’t need. Wike’s try to pressure Secondus out is supported by a lot of the southern PDP governors, albeit quietly.”
The survey additional gathered that “lots of them (governors) need to individuals like Makarfi as a attainable chairman of the occasion after Secondus.
Nonetheless, to counter them, the northern group with presidential bid led by a former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; for President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; and his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Muhammed, supported tacitly by Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, a former Kano State governor, need the South to provide the subsequent PDP chairman, even after Secondus, in order that the presidency might be within the North.”
To realize this, the northern group has engaged people, just like the Chairman of Daar Communications, Dr Raymond Dokpesi, and others, who’re additionally in search of to be vp, from the South, to start out talking in assist of the northern PDP members’ agenda.
From the evaluation of the survey, if the trajectory of the nation was reviewed from 1960, the North has produced extra presidents, and within the 1999 Structure, there may be an settlement that for the survival of the nation, energy should rotate between North and South.
It was primarily based on these undercurrents, that the THISDAY EIG carried out a survey, because it has at all times completed since 1999, the place it observed that in every of the PDP states within the South, PDP was prone to lose the governorship with a northern presidency, given the overwhelming transfer within the South for a president from the area.
That momentum, from all indications, would possibly subsequently result in the lack of states likes Cross River (the governor has already defected), Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta, Abia, Enugu and Oyo.
Presently, there wouldn’t be an election in Edo subsequent yr. Nonetheless, Obaseki, though a PDP governor, the survey confirmed, is a agency believer within the southern presidency.
The southern governors consider that for the survival of the PDP post-2023, energy has to maneuver down South.
In accordance with the survey, the elements in every of the vital southern states, with seeming PDP affect, painted eventualities peculiar to them.
In Cross River, as an illustration, regardless that the governor has defected to the ruling APC, the state is predominantly PDP. However the governor, Professor Ben Ayade, the survey confirmed, would get momentum and defeat Liyel Imoke and Donald Duke – two former governors mixed – if PDP selected a northern president and APC settled for a southern presidential candidate. This, the survey added, might make the governor take the state deeper into APC.
The Akwa Ibom scenario will not be fairly completely different, in accordance with the survey. Whereas the governor, Udom Emmanuel, is by each measure thought of to be doing nicely, a northern presidential candidate because the PDP standard-bearer, can be a tough promote for him and will lose the state to different forces, equivalent to the present APC Nationwide Secretary, Senator James Akpanudoedehe, and the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who would use federal incumbency to comb PDP away.
Rivers, an important PDP state, would possibly simply slip the best way of former Governor Chibuike Amaechi, who’s presently the Minister of Transportation, and successfully dislodging Governor Nyesom Wike, ought to the occasion embrace a northern presidential candidate. The state is already 50-50 for each main events and the APC has federal would possibly to its benefit.
Bayelsa State is much more susceptible, as a result of, regardless of the misgivings in regards to the APC governorship candidate, David Lyon, who received by a majority of the general public votes within the final election, the occasion nonetheless received. However the PDP solely got here in by way of the courtroom. Nonetheless, with the present Minister of State for Petroleum Assets, Timipre Sylva, and large federal forces and privileges, APC would simply replay the cardboard it performed the final time if the APC put ahead a southern candidate and PDP went North.
From Delta’s axis, there’s no debating the truth that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is widespread, particularly, primarily based on his efficiency file. However within the face of a southern candidate for APC and a northern candidate for PDP, his reputation wouldn’t save his occasion.
The occasion would almost definitely be swept out by the mixed forces of the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, and the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, in addition to others within the APC. With federal assist, they’d dislodge the PDP in Delta and sweep Okowa away, ought to the PDP current a northern president.
This situation additionally applies to Oyo, being PDP’s solely state within the South-west, the place Governor Seyi Makinde, is surrounded by counterparts from the ruling occasion. The truth is, the survey confirmed he’s vastly deprived.
The survey, nonetheless, from the permutations that got here out throughout PDP’s 92nd Nationwide Government Committee (NEC) assembly some weeks in the past, there have been indications that the occasion would possibly truly zone its presidential ticket to the North and the workplace of the nationwide chairman to the South.
Because of this, the governors of the occasion from the North, believed to have presidential curiosity, have begun to jostle to make sure the emergence of a nationwide chairman that will be disposed to their aspiration.
A former army governor of Lagos State and later civilian governor of Osun State, Col. Olagunsoye Oyinlola, as an illustration, is claimed to be the favorite of lots of the bigwigs, ought to the incumbent, Secondus, determine to not re-contest within the October thirtieth and 31th nationwide conference in Abuja.
Secondus, in a press release, had acknowledged that his tenure because the nationwide chairman would finish on December 9 2021, as a result of he was elected on December 9, 2017, and sworn in identical day.
Regardless, the embattled nationwide chairman had not too long ago debunked rumours that he had resigned from his place.
An announcement by his Particular Adviser on Media, Mr. Ike Abonyi, dismissed the report as unfaithful, however he contended that he was merely obeying an interim courtroom order on the time.
He added that as a law-abiding citizen, who had been an adherent of the rule of legislation as a foundation for democracy, he needed to keep away as a type of respect for the courts.
The places of work of the nationwide chairman of the PDP and different members of the Nationwide Working Committee (NWC) are assured four-year time period.
Formally, PDP is predicted to submit the authorized zoning of places of work of the members of the NWC to the approaching NEC assembly on September 9 2021, different stakeholders have been plotting to see that the NWC members elected had been pliable to their aspiration.
On this regard, some stakeholders had been believed to be working to make sure that the nationwide chairmanship of the occasion was micro-zoned to the South-west, however just a few others insisted that zoning it to the South-west would possibly show tough, because it might quantity to abridging the constitutional rights of Secondus to hunt a constitutional re-election.
On his half, Dokpsei too has since debunked studies that he was within the chairmanship race. An announcement from him claimed he needed to maintain his integrity and never soil or dent it.
Sadly, no person from the South-east has indicated curiosity within the presidential run, not even a former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, who was Atiku’s working mate within the 2019 presidential election.
Nonetheless, from the North, the listing has continued to extend. There are a number of posters on the occasion secretariat in Abuja saying the aspirations of Tambuwal, Atiku, Mohammed, Kwankwaso, and a former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido.
Forward of the zoning for each the presidential ticket and workplace of the nationwide chairman, the chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PDP, Senator Waliid Jubrin, and Dokpesi have mentioned the primary opposition occasion stood a greater likelihood in 2023 with a northern candidate.
Chuks Okocha in Abuja