Photo Credit: Thisday
It is no longer news that former Senate President Iyiorcha Ayu has emerged as the consensus candidate of the Northern Peoples Democratic Party leaders. It means that barring any last-minute changes, he would be adopted as the national PDP chairman in the next two weeks.
But what has become apparent is that Ayu’s emergence was not without the usual backroom deals and horsetrading that characterizes any major political decision.
Photo Credit: Premium Times
According to a recent report in Thisday, Ayu was made to sign two major deals before the Northern PDP agreed to adopt him as the consensus candidate and compelled the other two contenders to back down.
In this article, I will analyse the two agreements and their implications.
Ayu promised to ensure a level playing field
Before the northern leaders agreed to pick Ayu as their consensus candidate, they made him agree to provide a level playing field for all the candidates. In essence, he was not to stand in the way of Northern voters taking part in the presidential ticket race.
Photo Credit: BBC
Another reason why I believe the Northern leaders came up with this idea is probably because of the earlier report in the media which alleged that Ayu was the candidate of the Southern Governor. So, this agreement will ensure that Ayu does not take any step that could be detrimental to the interest of the North or undermine her chances in the presidential ticket race.
If a presidential candidate from the North emerges he would resign and work for the candidate to win the general election
Another major agreement that was reached in private before the Northern leaders threw their weight behind Ayu was that if a candidate from the north emerges as President, he would resign and work for the candidate to win the presidential election.
Indeed, this is the agreement that tips the balance of the contest in Ayu’s favour, because it was alleged that the other two contestants from North West and North East refused to support the agreement. As soon as the Northern leaders sensed that Ayu was the only candidate that agreed to the deal they immediately adopted him as the consensus candidate.
Photo Credit: Thisday
Meanwhile, the northern PDP has began consulting with their counterparts in the South to market Ayu to them and ensure he gets their full backing at the Convention. Senator Ayu is expected to become the substantive chairman of the party at the National convention which is held in a fortnight.
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