The zoning last week of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairman to the north, which has brighten the chances of the presidential ticket of the party going to the south, has thrown up five, still counting though, possible presidential candidates.
The five early presidential hopefuls are the Governors of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike; Akwa Ibom, Udom Emmanuel; Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde; Delta State,Ifeanyi Okowa and the former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ayim Pius Ayim.
These candidates are seemingly unblemished which analysts believe is a good thing that will give the PDP a clean start from all the corruption allegations previously leveled against its past leaders.
Should the parties zone the tickets to the south as the mood of the nation suggests, a likely scenario is that the two major parties – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP – would have baggage-free candidates to wrest the tickets in their respective parties.
But unfortunately, however, a former Vice President and PDP presidential hopeful, Atiku Abubakar, might have been blocked in the party going by feelers from the PDP race and will be most likely unable to form another party, with what is currently on the card.
Relatedly, the APC might also field a southern candidate and whoever wins, the seat goes to the south.
According to a top figure in the PDP who does not want his name mentioned, said, “The point, is that PDP wants to choose one of its own from the south as a candidate. The north has indicated that it is not against power shift to the south. So there is a growing realisation that power will have to come to the south.
Since the zoning of the PDP chairmanship to the north, there have been talks among PDP leaders for a southern candidate and many of them believed they didn’t necessarily need a northern candidate to win the presidency.
Even though that narrative was being pushed by Chief Raymond Dokpesi, and other interested parties, who had their eyes set on the big prize – the presidency had increasingly seen themselves as candidates from the north.
Nevertheless, the eventual zoning of the chairmanship to the north has technically changed the equation and illuminated the chances of these five southerners from the PDP.