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2023 Presidency: Southern PDP Leaders Consider Fresh Option




2023 Presidency: Southern PDP Leaders Consider Fresh Option


Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southern 17 states have begun move to ensure that the presidential ticket is secured by an aspirant from one of the three geo-political zones.

In the alternative, they are also looking at a northerner with strong roots in the South.

The plan, according to sources, is to have a second strategy or an Option B, as it has become obvious that the party leadership will not yield to the demand for the presidential ticket to be specifically zoned to the South.

The Southern leaders are moving to ensure that their delegates vote only for either a particular southern aspirant or to adopt a northern candidate, who is not from the far North.

The strategy of the southern PDP leaders behind this plot is to ensure that the outcome of the PDP primary produces a win-win situation for the South, irrespective of where the candidates come from.

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A chieftain said: “We want to ensure that the South converts the disadvantage of the PDP refusing to zone the presidential position to the South in line with the rotation arrangement in the party’s constitution becomes a benefit to us.

“We will work to ensure that the South decides who the presidential candidate is, even if he is not from our zone.

“Southern delegates may come together and choose a northern candidate who has strong roots in the South. He must be somebody who has a close affinity and filial relationship with us. He must be somebody who understands the challenges facing the South and can run a government that is based on equity, justice and inclusiveness, and knows what it is to suffer injustice or the pains of the minority.”

“It is the reason why we will not support aspirants from the far North. We will rather support an aspirant whose zone has not produced any of the two positions in the Presidency. An ideal candidate for the PDP is somebody from either the South or the Northern minority.

“It is the only way we can show that without having a southern candidate; we can have a president who believes he owes the South and that the support of the southern delegates is instrumental to his victory. That means that if the South plays its card very well, it can produce a southern candidate from the North.”

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An indication of the new move in the South was the decision of the Oyo State chapter to announce their endorsement of former Senate President Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, after he addressed them in Ibadan yesterday.

The Oyo State delegates decided to endorse Saraki because of the substance of his manifesto, the only one from any aspirant either in the PDP or the ruling APC, the brilliance he displayed while addressing them, and his family relationship, as his grandmother was from the state.

“The Oyo State delegates saw Saraki as one of their own. They also believe he is a northerner with southern roots. They want to draw the benefit they look forward to getting from a Nigerian president of southern origin from a Saraki who is from the North Central,” a source said.

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