GoldenNewsNg reports that The People’s Democratic Party’s primary election is finally here, and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, his counterpart in Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, and former Senate President Bukola Saraki are among the front-runners battling for the presidential ticket.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State; Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State; Ayodele Fayose, a former governor of Ekiti State; Pius Anyim, a former Senate President; Diana Teriela, the only woman in the race; Muhammed Hayatu-Deen, former FSB Managing Director; Dele Momodu, a media mogul; Sam Ohuabunwa, a pharmacist; Charles Ugw
Recall the former governor of Anambra State Peter Obi who had been screened to run in the primary, has subsequently defected to the Labour Party.
Atiku, Saraki, Tambuwal, and Wike are all expected to contest in the election.
Many of the delegates who spoke with journalists suggested the party should assess who among the hopefuls could win the presidential race.
One of them said, “The principal idea behind the decision of the party to throw the presidential contest open to all the six geo-political zones is to ensure that the PDP does not deprive itself of the best candidate who can win the presidency for us in 2023. Every political party wants to win elections.
“This was the reason why the national leadership of the party refused to zone the ticket to any of the six geo-political zones in the country. I am sure you know that the PDP won the last presidential election. That is why we want Atiku back as our candidate.”
Another delegate said President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to sign the updated version of the Electoral Act, 2022 has hampered the preparations of some of the aspirants.
“If the new Act had been signed, it would have increased the chances of some of the governors, because members of the National Assembly from their states would have been among the delegates and they would have lined up behind their governors”
Meanwhile, Political observers believe that delegates from the party’s state caucuses in the North will vote en masse for Atiku and Tambuwal while a large number of delegates from the South were also expected to vote for Atiku, Wike, and Saraki.
The exit of Obi from the party is likely to have opened up the eastern flank to hunting, and many delegates from the region may choose Atiku or Wike.
Apart from Abia and Enugu states, whose governors are said to be behind Wike, it was learnt that delegates from the South-East might be shared by contenders like Atiku and Anyim.