As the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, finally resolved its internal squabbles ahead of the October 31 national elective convention, no fewer than five persons have reached advanced state of consultations to vie for the Presidential ticket of the party in the 2023 election.
The party at the end of its 92nd National Executive Committee, NEC meeting last week approved October 31 to elect national executive members as the tenure of incumbent chairman, Prince Uche Secondus gradually inches to an end. Nominations to the various committees of the convention are expected to be submitted on September 9 for ratification by NEC.
It was gathered,former Vice President and 2019 Presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, Sokoto state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed, immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki and former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Tanimu Turaki have all decided to vie for the sole ticket once again.
It would be called that four of these PDP chieftains were among the 12 aspirants who converged in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital for the 2018 convention, won by Atiku. While the former Vice President clinched the ticket with 1,532 votes, Tambuwal, Saraki and Turaki garnered 693, 317 and 65 votes respectively.
The decision to test the waters again is not unconnected with the party’s decision to keep faith with the North in the 2023 polls as they did in 2019. A reliable party source told our correspondent that the North offers the party a better chance of returning to power than the South.
According to him, “the party is yet to make an official statement but we all know it is going nowhere other than the North. The reason for this is already public knowledge for if the ruling party is going South, the PDP will go North and test its might and popularity among Nigerians.”
Buoyed by his last outing, Atiku who has travelled the length and breadth of the country in the past two years, building bridges of friendship, sees 2023 as his last chance to realize his dream of governing Nigeria as an elected President.
Speaking exclusively to Vanguard, a loyalist of the Wazirin Adamawa said the former Vice President “will again seek the blessing of his party to contest the biggest election on its platform.”
Asked if Atiku is not tired of running for the office, the light-skinned fellow who asked not be named noted that “he’s doing this in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians. He is tired of seeing a potentially great country reduced to ruins due to the incompetence of those managing her affairs. If you know the number of employees this man single-handedly engaged; you will ask that the race be thrown open to him alone. He understands what it takes to make governance count for the people. I can confidently tell you that when the time comes, he will contest but let’s not jump the gun.”
Speaking against the backdrop of recent criticisms of abandoning the party in times of crisis only to show up at electioneering period, Atiku pledged last week to always stay around this time, saying ‘I want to let you know that I won’t be travelling to Dubai again. I will always be around with you.”
Like Atiku, Tambuwal who finished second on the log in 2018 Presidential primaries is aiming to go again. As chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, the Sokoto state governor has in the past three years visited the six geo-political zones as well as top leaders of the country including former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida.
An aide to the governor who pleaded anonymity because he doesn’t have the permission to speak on the matter said his principal has the blessing of eminent Nigerians including some “founding fathers of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to seek his party’s nomination.” Tellingly, the governor has used every fora to hit the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government, exposing its loopholes and asking Nigerians to give PDP another chance in the next election cycle.
Tambuwal is not the only governor credited with ambition to go for the sole ticket as his Bauchi state counterpart, Senator Bala Mohammed is said to be in the race as well.
Another colourful in the race is Bukola Saraki whose 2023 Presidential posters were pasted at designated areas of the nation’s capital a few months ago. Although the former Senate President was quick to dismiss them, the ex-Kwara state governor has continued to make significant inroads into the nation’s political cum geographical zones, particularly after his appointment as the chairman of the PDP’s reconciliation and strategy committee.
A member of NEC of the PDP noted that owing to the fact that the Presidential ticket is north-bound, “Saraki will fight it out with others given the nod of approval he has so far gotten from his nationwide consultations. He is contesting and you can take that to the bank,” he said.
Meanwhile, a loyalist of the former Kaduna state governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi has dismissed reports crediting the ex-PDP caretaker chairman with interest to succeed Secondus. Reacting to a report in a national daily (not Vanguard) linking Makarfi with the chairmanship of the party, he said, “His Excellency Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi is not running for anything. People are just speculating. All he is interested in is a peaceful democratic change that can urgently save this country. His personal ambitions are secondary.”
It was learnt that Tanimu Turaki will be aiming to do better than he did in the December 2018 convention in 2018, having made up his mind to seek the blessing of his party once again.
Kaduna LG Polls: APC floors PDP, Secures 15 chairmanship seats
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has won the majority of the chairmanship and councillorship seats in the local government council elections held in Kaduna State on Saturday.
The ruling party won 15 of the 17 chairmanship seats whose results have so far been declared, while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the other two.
The polls were postponed in four of the state’s 23 local government areas to September 25 over security concerns.
An initial sensation was recorded when the PDP won in Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s Unguwan Sarki polling unit in Kaduna North LGA.
However, the APC rallied to win the chairmanship and most of the councillorship seats in the council.
The APC also won in the home councils of top PDP chieftains, including of former Vice President Namadi Sambo and former Governor Ahmed Makarfi.
The deputy governor of the state, Hadiza Balarabe, also delivered Sanga Local Government in the PDP-leaning southern senatorial district to the APC.
The PDP picked its two chairmanship seats in Jana and Kaura local government areas.
The elections in Kachia Local government council was declared inconclusive by the returning officer, Haruna Ahmadu.
The elections will hold in three weeks time in Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Zangon Kataf, and Kajuru LGAs following the postponement for security reasons.
See result as announced by returning officers for each local government council.
The returning officer, Katoh Ishaya, announced the PDP candidate, Matthias Siman, as winner of the chairmanship election having polled 19,511 to defeat Adamu Donatus of the APC who polled 10,941 votes.
PDP also won nine out of the 10 councillor seats while APC won one seat.
The returning office, Musa Makarfi, announced that the APC candidate, Nasara Rabo, polled 20,558 to defeat the PDP candidate, Caleb Pius, who polled 14,494 votes
Dayyabu Mohammed, the returning officer, declared Bashir Zuntu of the APC as winner of the election. He polled 23,973 votes to defeat Isah-Rabiu Imam of the PDP, who polled 9, 038 votes and Isah Yunusa of the SD who scored 530 votes.
Returning officer Haruna Abdu declared Shuaibu Jaja of the APC as winner of the chairmanship seat, having scored 18,129 votes.
Ibrahim-Shehu Doka of the PDP recorded 16,123 votes and Umar Taba of the Labour Party 1,844 votes.
Abubakar Buba of the APC was declared winner of the chairmanship seat with 36,389 votes, defeating Dalhat Abu-Dadda’i of the PDP who got 24,294 votes.
Idris Ibrahim of the APC was returned as the winner of the chairmanship seat with 34,006 votes. Yusuf Sambo of the PDP polled 14,019 votes.
Mohammed Usman of APC was declared winner after scoring 32,405 votes to defeat his closest rival, Abdu Bello of PDP, who scored 13,777 votes.
Bisallah Malam of the APC was returned as winner of the chairmanship election with 21,854 votes. The PDP candidate scored 12,832 votes.
Yunana Barde of APC took the chairmanship seat with 24,251 votes, narrowly defeating the incumbent chairman and PDP candidate, Peter Averik, who polled 23,215 votes.
The returning officer, Dr. Sunday Ibrahim, announced the results.
The ÀPC candidate, Abubakar Lawal, won the chairmanship seat with 22,896 votes His PDP rival, Awwal Kaya, scored 3,534 votes. Returning officer Godwin Ayuba also said the APC won all the 11 councillorship seats.
Mukhtar Baloni of the APC emerged winner with 16,545 votes. Adamu Dattijo of the PDP scored 15,472 votes. But PDP won 6 out of the 11 councilor seats to APC’s 5 seats.
The returning officer, Garba Salisu declared the incumbent chairman, Kabir Mayare of APC, winner with16, 328 votes. Abubakar Makarfi of PDP scored 14,739 votes.
Jabir Khamis of the APC is the winner of the chairmanship seat. He scored 29,804 votes to defeat PDP’s Ibrahim Yusha’u who scored 10,865 votes.
But the PDP chairmanin the area, Dan Azumi Maganda, said the PDP will challenge the result in court.
Peter Omale, the Returning Officer, declared Philip Gwada of the PDP winner having recorded 9,012 votes to defeat the APC candidate, Benjamin Jock, who polled 5,640 votes.
PDP also won 8 of the 10 councillorship seats.
The incumbent chairman, Abubakar Jarimi of the APC polled 7, 879to votes to defeat the PDP candidate who scored 4,765 votes.
Mohammed Usman of APC was declared winner by the returning officer, Abubakar-Mohammed Sadiq. Mr Usman scored 32,405 votes to defeat Abdu Bello of the PDP who had 13,777 votes.
The APC candidate, Ibrahim Sadiq, scored 18, 974 votes to beat his PDP opponent who scored 13,416 votes.
The chairmanship election in Kachia local government area was declared inconclusive. The returning officer said cancelled and uncast votes were over 13,000, more than the recorded votes.
According to the result announced, Allison Chitta of the PDP scored 24,482 votes to Aaron Bako of the APC’s 23,270 votes.
2023: Only the best, popular candidate will emerge in Akwa Ibom – Iniama
A stakeholder in the Akwa Ibom State politics, Mr James Iniama, has stated that the state would expect nothing but only the best and popular governorship candidate in 2023.
Iniama, in an interview with Journalists in Uyo over the weekend, noted the clamour by different groups for the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, to name his successor and said that the delay by the governor in announcing his prefered candidate could result in the imposition of unpopular candidate on the state.
He warned that the state would not tolerate any imposition without a level playing ground for aspirants to test popularity.
“I want to assure you that Akwa Ibom will get the best among the best, there is no anointed yet. The Governor cannot have a successor until elections are held. There will be an electoral process that would be published by INEC which will be followed,” he said.
Iniama recalled that the political build-up of the past regime was marred with fear, violence and hounding of a perceived political opponent.
“I support this movement, in fact, I am an apostle of peace. Whatever you are doing in life, you have to cohabit peacefully.
“I have been one of the Nigerians who have suffered grave injustice, I have been hunted and hounded in this state just because I was seeking for governorship and an opponent to a certain candidate. You were in this state and knew how unsafe the state was at that time.
“In 2007 many people left this state, many left for Cross River, I returned to the United States. The state is now safe, well, I support the movement but I don’t know if it is the vehicle for the governor’s succession plan but peace is a necessity.
Secondus denies working against Southern Nigeria
The embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has denied the allegation that he is working against the interest Southern Nigeria.
Secondus stated this in a statement issued by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi, in Abuja on Friday.
It noted “the Media Office of Secondus will continue to respond to even laughable talks because of the danger of allowing disinformation to enter public space unchallenged.”
It stated that one of such piece of false information being dished out was the allegation from the Rivers State Chairman of PDP, Desmond Akawor, that Secondus was working against Southern interest and that he had not paid his dues to the party.
“We understand the frustration of the anti-Secondus crusaders who have become evidence shopaholics in their desperation to find points with which to achieve their ignoble goals.
“The Media Office sees their effort as a case of bad marketer selling a product, who puts in several efforts to convince buyers to no avail.
“Our response is that there is no truth in all the allegations and Southern interest will be grossly endangered if it is the likes of Akawor and his clique that are pushing it,” the statement said.
The office said that critical members of PDP, including discerning members of the public knew as a fact that “no one person, no matter his position, could determine singularly the position of offices in the party”.
“The Media Office will, however, continue to urge members of the public and the media to be wary of compulsive shoppers whose agenda is mainly to distract and destroy this party and remove its focus from retuning to power in 2023 as being yearned by Nigerians,” the statement said.
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