By Suleiman Umaru
The Iyorche Ayu, led Leadership of the Oppostion People’s Democratic Party Leadership, PDP, appears to be in a horn of dilemmas over the zoning of the party elective offices at the Federal and state levels to avoid stepping on toes.
Three key gladiators from the party, Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President, during the Olusegu Obasnjo Administration, who had contested the 2019, Presidential ticket on the ticket of the party , from the north east of Admawa, is still begging the party to give him another opportunity , for the 2023, general elections. Aminu Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and now governor of the north west state of Sokoto, whose posters have appeared in most major cities and towns in the country and who have been travelling round the country to win the heart of supporters ahead of the party National convention have been more vociferous in the recent why President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General, cannot make any impact in his seven years of Administration because he did not ‘’understand Nigeria’’.
Even Senator Bala Mohammed governor of Bauchi state, was said to have to have also declared his Presidential Aambition on the ticket of the PDP. Another Candidate, Bukola Saraki, a former governor of the north central state of Kwara and one-time- President of the Nigerian Senate, who many believe have the resources like Atitu and Tambuwal, to prosecute to pursue his Presidential ambition, posters are already all over Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre and other major cities and towns in the country, sending message to the other Candidates jostling for the PDP ticket that he is a Candidate to beat.
Given the array of Presidential hopefuls from the north may have informed why Bode George, a Chieftain of the party from the south west geo-political region, and former Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, during Obasanjo’s Administration had warned that the party Leadership against leaving the ‘’the 2023, Presidential ticket open for all members to contest’’ describing it as ‘’combustible’’.
He fears that the moneybags in the party would hijack the ticket. He may have alluded to Atiku, Saraki or Tambuwal, believing that Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra state, who was Atiku’s Vice Presidential Candidatial Candidate in 2019 general elections, and Ayim Pius Ayim, a former Secretary to the government, during Goodluck Jonathan Administration may not stand a chance of winning the party nomination at the National Convention.
Appealing to the party National Working Committee, NWC, ‘’to ensure that ‘’the right Candidate is fielded to vie for the highest office in the Land’’ in the 2023, general elections’’, he noted that ‘’it must be zoned to a particular region’’. He has made it clear to those that cares to listen that ‘’it is necessary that the party Leadership keep to keep to the Constitutional provisions of the party that has do with ‘’zoning and rotation of elective offices’’ , describing it as’’ the spinal cord that can lead to the death or cripple the party if broken’’.
The PDP south west Chieftain had said that if the Ayu and his Team , on their own decide to throw the party zoning policy away, they are telling Nigerians that ‘’it is only in certain parts of the country that ‘’we have people who have the competence or courage to rule Nigeria’’. He queried: how can there be peace in the country, without the agitation by the separatists, referring to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB. Only recently, George Obiozor a Professor and President- General, Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide , residence was attacked by gunmen alleged to IPOB members in Awo- Omamma, In Oru Eat Local government Area of Imo state. The gunmen were aid to have used explosive devices to destroy his building.
The increasing level of violence in different parts of south east may have encouraged George, the south west PDP Chieftain to have advised the party Leadership to ensure that ‘’Justice, fairness and equity ‘’ remains the dictating norms for the PDP in order to move forward’’.
George fears that if the PDP makes the mistake of fielding the wrong Candidate in the coming 2023, Presidential elections, the 70 year-old Tinubu, a multi-billionaire, who is likely to emerge the APC, Cadidate, may coast home victory and will be Nigeria’s next President which would force people like him to relocate abroad. ‘’I won’t be part of the country and I am not joining’’, he had said.
He may have shocked Nigerians when he disclosed that if Tinubu wins the 2023 general elections to be sworn in as Nigeria’s next President, ‘’it would be the regime of another Alpha-Beta in Lagos’’, stressing that he will create some Alpha Beta somewhere ‘’to carry Nigeria’s money, his wife will now become the Senate President, and his son, the governor of Lagos state while the daughter will be the Iyaloja of Nigeria’’.
But the Northern Nigerian Forum, NNYF, would not want another northern President to emerge to rule Nigeria in 2023 or T inubu to rule Nigeria. Recall that a northern group in the recent time have been trying to dag Yemi Osibanjo, Nigeria Vice President and former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Lagos state , during Tinubu, Administrations and now one of the front-runners of All Progressive Congress, APC, Presidential Candidates, and Godwin Emefiele, governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, into the race.
It might interest you to note that another powerful group in the north want to use Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state and minister of Transportation as a joker in the APC, being a loyalist of the retired Army Gneral, who had built a Transportation university in Daura and linking the Nigerian Railway tandard dual carriage, from Kano to Maradi in the neighbouring Niger state when the south east, the south-south and north central geo-political regions could not be linked to the rail network .
As a prelude to oil Amaechi’s Presidential ambition on the ticket of the APC, in the forth- coming 2023, general elections, may have informed why Umar Faruq, the Emir of Daura, Buhari, home town, had conferred him with a Chieftaincy title and turbaning him as the ‘’Dan AmanaDaura’’, meaning the trusted son of Daura, for him to be acceptable in the north during his Campaigns. The Emir had said that conferment of the Chieftaincy title on the minister was in ‘’recognition of his contribution to the socio-economic development of the country and not based on money.
Nigerians are waiting to see how the PDP and APC, the two dominant Political parties in the country National Conventions would end whether it would be a straight fight between Atiku, Saraki, or Tambuwal of the PDP and Tinubu of the APC or not.