- Atiku Abubakar may find it difficult to get the PDP presidential ticket
- A party source said the governors had listed some candidate for presidency before he came
- The former president has set his sight on the 2019 presidential election
The emergence of Prince Uche Secondus as chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reportedly dashed the hope of Atiku Abubakar of being the party’s presidential candidate.
At the PDP’s national convention in Abuja on Saturday, December 9, a unity list was circulated which already showed that Secondus would emerge as chairman of the party. The list was purportedly compiled by the governors in the party.
The Nation reports that the same governors have also compiled a list of possible presidential candidates before Atiku defected to the party.
According to The Nation, “the governors are weighing the following aspirants and likely defectors, among others: ex-Governor Ahmed Makarfi; ex-Governor Sule Lamido, ex-minister of education Ibrahim Shekarau, Gombe state Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo, ex-Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso (still being wooed by PDP) and Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (who is a political ally of the coordinator of the power brokers, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike). Tambuwal is of the APC.”
It was reported that although Atiku has the backing of former presidents, Goodluck Jonathan and Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, the governors seem to be running the affairs of the leadership of the party and would need their support.
It was alleged that the governors had “unwritten pact with Makarfi” and he has fulfilled his end with the emergence of Secondus as chairman.
A party source said: “Atiku has many hurdles to cross before he can get the party’s presidential ticket. He has to convince the governors to support him. He will also face tough primaries with many presidential aspirants who are not ready to step down for him.
“The emergence of Secondus has altered Atiku’s permutations of an automatic presidential ticket.
“Atiku’s case is more complicated by the fact that some of the governors are disposed to Makarfi going by the way he was resilient in tackling the PDP crisis.
“It is an open secret in PDP that there was ‘an unwritten agreement’ between the governors and Makrafi on the election of the new national chairman and 2019 presidential poll. Secondus’ victory showed some signs of a deal by the two camps.
“There are also fears in the party that Wike might woo Tambuwal back to PDP and allow him to try his luck for the presidential ticket. With the huge resources displayed at the convention, Tambuwal may alter equations in the party.
“Atiku is certainly in a tight corner. As an experienced politician, he could see the signs. He has been ingenious politically and he can find his way through the landmines.”
NAIJ.com had reported that Atiku slammed his former party All Progressives Congress (APC) and described it as the ‘enemy’ of the people of Nigeria.
The Punch quoted a statement by Atiku Media Office as congratulating Secondus and warning the opposition party to avoid making mistakes that would allow APC continue in office.
Atiku noted that Secondus and other newly elected national officials of the PDP should run an all-inclusive administration where the various interests within the party would be accommodated.
Atiku versus Buhari: Who will win? - on NAIJ.com TV