20180909

2019: The Top Men Jostling For Presidency Under PDP

One hundred and twenty governorship aspirants have paid N6m each to pick the expression of interest and nomination forms of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Also, the party had sold the nomination forms to 12 presidential aspirants as of Saturday afternoon. The justle has commenced.

Each of the aspirants paid N12m each to the party to obtain its presidential nomination and expression of interest forms.

Though The Punch was unable to get the breakdown of the governorship aspirants, state-by-state, it was however gathered that the race would be keenly contested in some states.

For example, in Kwara State, two close allies of the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, had picked the forms.

The aspirants are a former Minister of Sports, who is also a former National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, and a member of the House of Representatives, Zakari Mohammed.

A former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman, who is also from Kwara, had picked the form.

A former police officer who hails from Kwara, Mr Ibrahim Ajia, will join the three other aspirants to vie for the PDP ticket for the state.

A top source at the party secretariat said the number of aspirants could increase before the close of nomination, which he said would be on September 11.

The source said, “As of Thursday, we had 118 aspirants. But the number has increased to 120, and we hope that it may go up a little higher before the close of nomination early this week.

“When the nomination ends, we will then publish the names because they will have to come for screening.”

The source said there were states where the battle for the party’s ticket might not be fierce.

It was gathered that Oyo might be among such states.

For example, it was gathered that Mr Seyi Makinde would likely be the sole candidate of the party for the primary.

Makinde was said to have been endorsed by the majority of the chairmen of the party in the local government areas of the state.

Also, it was learnt that states, where the party produced sitting governors, might not have serious challengers.
As for the Presidency, sources say the battle is narrowing to between North Central and the North West, with the largest voting population.