- Recent defections of some APC members to the PDP divides party over its presidential ticket for the 2019 election
- Some members who remained in the party are not happy that defectors are being given attention ahead of them
- Supporters of Ekweremadu, Okechukwu battle over Enugu-west senatorial seat
Stakeholders and governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are reportedly divided over the party’s presidential ticket for the 2019 election.
The New Telegraph reports that the lack of consensus candidate for the poll might have been compounded over the recent defection of some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the PDP.
The newspaper stated that stakeholders are divided between handing over the ticket to defectors or members who had stayed in the party since 2015 when PDP became an opposition party.
This issue has been reportedly complicated by about 11 aspirants who are said to be interested in the PDP presidential ticket, which has been zoned to the north.
The candidates reportedly include:
1. Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar
2. Former Jigawa state governor, Sule Lamido
3. Former minister of special duties, Kabiru Turaki
4. Immediate past chairman of PDP national caretaker committee, Ahmed Makarfi
5. Senator Datti Baba Ahmed, proprietor of Baze University
6. Gombe state governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo
7. Former Kano state governor Ibrahim Shekarau
8. Former Sokoto state governor, Attahiru Bafarawa
9. President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki
10 Sokoto state governor Aminu Tambuwal
11 Former Kano state governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso
A source at the party’s national headquarters told the New Telegraph that there is a cold war in the party over the presidential ticket.
“There is ‘cold war’ now in the party since Tambuwal and Saraki came back. You know, they are interested in the presidency," the unnamed source said.
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“With that, the front runners would be Atiku and Tambuwal. As a matter of fact, the battle is a straight one between Atiku and Tambuwal. The governors and other party stakeholders are divided.
“The interesting thing this time is that the governors are not united unlike before. (Nyesom) Wike is mobilising for Tambuwal, but (Seriake) Dickson and Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, are supporting Atiku. “So, it may be difficult to predict who will likely pick the ticket.”
He said, however, said that those who had remained in the party like Makarfi, Lamido and others, are not happy that defectors are being given attention ahead of them.
Another source said those who had remained in PDP are clamouring for that the presidential ticket be a compensation for any one of them who remained loyal to the party while others were on political green pasture elsewhere.
Meanwhile, supporters of the deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, and the director general of Voice of the Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, are in an ensuing political battle over the Enugu west senatorial seat.
Premium Times reports that Ekweremadu, a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), is currently spending his fourth term in the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly, having been elected in 2003.
Okechukwu has however, declared his intention to contest election for the Senate in 2019 under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to represent the Enugu west senatorial district - the district currently represented by Ekweremadu.
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