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2019: Those Who Will Determine PDP Presidential Candidate

The APC presidential candidate is already known. So, all eyes are on the PDP. Signs are beginning to emerge about the chances of the 12 aspirants locked in the race for the ticket.

The leading aspirants at the moment are,

Kwankwaso, Atiku, Saraki and Tambuwal. There could be some surprises from Makarfi and Dankwambo.

The aspirants are intensifying their campaigns across the country having received the breakdown of delegates per state.

“We are all doing our calculations on how and where the votes will come from,” one of the aspirants told The Nation.

The aspirant explained that the intrigues on vote-seeking made him and his colleagues allow Governor Nyesom Wike have his way at the National Executive Committee meeting of PDP on Friday on Port Harcourt as the venue of the National Convention.

“We allowed the sleeping dog to lie after Wike apologized for threatening to bring down the party,” he said.

“Some of us did not confront Wike because he had introduced ethnic sentiments into venue issue and rejecting Port Harcourt might prove suicidal to our ambition.

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“But for the first time, we put Wike on the spot… The PDP is greater than him and the 2019 project of the party cannot be toyed with.”

Five factors are likely to determine who carries the day.

These are:
*The influence of PDP governors

*Ex-Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Goodluck Jonathan, ex-Chief of Army Staff, Gen. T.Y. Danjuma, ex-National Security Adviser, Gen. Aliyu Gusau all of whom have the ears of those who matter in the party

*A huge war chest

*Micro-zoning at the National Convention if there is any stalemate

*External factors especially the interest of some foreign countries and forces

A presidential aspirant said: “Whether these leaders are in partisan politics or not, we have all been reaching out to them for assistance on our aspirations. Some of us have made more than two or three shuttles to these leaders.

“And we have embarked on consultative trips to these leaders because a few of them came out openly to make a strong case for a new government to replace the APC administration in 2019.

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“Definitely, Obasanjo, Babangida, Gusau, Jonathan and a few business moguls might advise the party appropriately.”

Investigation also revealed that the PDP governors hold the ace in determining the party’s presidential flag bearer.

According to a top PDP source, the governors control a large number of delegates from their states.

“The emergence of the PDP candidate depends on the disposition of the governors and strategic party leaders,” the source added.

It was also gathered that foreign missions in the country have set up desks for the monitoring of the PDP primaries.

A diplomat said: “Democracy is about choice, our country is more interested in who gets the PDP presidential ticket than the APC which is predictable.

“Nearly all the embassies have taken keen interest in the development in PDP than APC. We are monitoring events and some of us already have teams in Port Harcourt.”

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