The build-up to the October 30 and 31st national convention of the PDP is getting interesting as party members are looking beyond the national convention.
Different developments in the PDP in the last few days suggests that some individuals who are interested in the 2023 presidential election either to become the flagbearer or the running mate are indirectly using the zoning arrangement which the PDP has made to indicate their interests.
The PDP has zoned its national chairmanship to the South. This means that the 2023 presidential candidate of the PDP will be a Northerner. However, there are indications in the PDP that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is interested in grabbing the 2023 presidential ticket of the PDP despite that his party has zoned the national chairman position to the South.
Wike's 2023 presidential ambition unsettles the party because not many of them saw it coming. It also clashes with the determination of the party to field a 2023 Northern presidential candidate at all cost.
This will form the basis of our discussion in this article.
How does Wike's presidential ambition unsettle PDP?
Photo Credit: Sun Newspaper
According to Vanguard newspaper, the Rivers Governor asked Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State not to zone the national chairman slot rather throw it open for the best candidate irrespective of the geopolitical zone to occupy it.
However, his fellow PDP Governors who upon realising that Wike has shown interest in contesting the 2023 presidential election refused to back him on that.
They know that such an arrangement will make it easy for Wike to join the 2023 presidential race because the presidential ticket will not be zoned if the national chairman position is thrown open.
Wike who appears not to be giving up despite the position taken by PDP members in the 6 geopolitical zones that the national chairman position should go to the south has come up with a new strategy that unsettles the party. He is pushing for the South-East and South-South to be excluded from the national chairmanship race.
Photo Credit: Punch
My understanding is that Wike wants to leverage the fact that South-South and South-East are predominantly PDP states and push for a Southern President when the time comes. Many people will be wondering if Wike wants to push the agenda of a Southern President from the old Eastern region or a Southern President from the Niger Delta.
Why does the PDP want a 2023 Northern presidential candidate at all costs?
Photo Credit: Canva
There are at least 12 million votes in the core North and the PDP is not willing to risk not getting a huge chunk of those votes. Already a North-East PDP Governor who understands what is going on in APC has said the APC is seriously looking towards the South to get its 2023 presidential candidate.
He warned the PDP against the doing same because many Northern APC politicians will vote and support a Northerner in 2023 if the PDP fields one.
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