Stalemate In APC, PDP As Governors, Stakeholders Disagree Over Running Nates


Aftermath of the PDP Presidential Primaries, the party has been thrown into a quagmire as its Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is now being faced with the tough decision of picking a credible Vice President and running mate for his ticket.

While most Southern PDP governors are scheming to be picked, The chairman of the PDP governors forum, His Excellency, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has openly expressed that it does not have to be a sitting governor. Tambuwal has suggested that a former governor or a current member of the National Assembly will also be a good pick and he is currently lobbying for His Excellency, the immediate past Governor of Imo State. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha who is also a former deputy speaker House of Representatives and qualifies in his view and right so to be a vice presidential candidate.

A number of governors, His Excellencies, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Seyi Makinde, Okezie Ikpeazu and Samuel Otorm are supporting and lobbying for Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike to be Vice President and we have gathered that Nyesom Wike has declared that if it is not him, it should be Enugu state Governor, Ugwuanyi.

Wike has lobbied Northern leaders and some key party stakeholders. Wike has also said that over his dead body should Governor Okowa or Governor Udom be picked ahead of him, especially Okowa who hosted the Asaba declaration meeting. Wike has alleged that Okowa deceived all southern governors thereby betraying his colleagues and southern Nigeria as a whole to trade them for a vice presidential ambition and the governors have come to know that Okowa also funded Atiku’s presidential campaign at the elective convention.

A number of Southern PDP governors are angry and disappointed with Okowa. They feel it would have been different if he merely attended the Asaba declaration and not comply with it but seeing as he was the one who hosted the historic meeting, it was very disappointing to see that the Governor of Delta state, where Asaba is the capital was the first to betray the declaration and use it to negotiate for Vice President without consulting his colleagues in the south.

He may think he played smart politics by betraying the Asaba Accord but his ongoing betrayal of Ibori over a successor has polarized Delta state and the PDP is at the verge of losing the state as a result of that betrayal.

The PDP leadership is currently dialoguing with Ibori and he is adamant that if Okowa wants to be Vice President then he must concede the right to produce a successor.

Ibori will not allow himself to be humiliated at home and in Abuja.

Atiku and the PDP leaders are in a dilemma. As if that is not enough, Wike has declared that he will support the decision of Atiku and the PDP leaders to pick any other person except Okowa if they are not picking him but he has put forth himself and he is lobbying hard for himself and also Ugwuanyi who is his fall back plan.

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For Tambuwal who is lobbying for Ihedioha and Wike whose option B is Ugwuanyi, if Atiku and the PDP decide not to go to the South-East, then what it means is that, their options will not be viable.

In the light of this quagmire and disagreements among the governors, some PDP elders and key leaders are of the view that the governors should be left out to focus on managing and winning their states than leaving their states to campaign as Vice President. This is because it is the win in their states that will culminate in a national victory for the party.

Most of these governors have tough succession battles with the APC challenge. A number of them are pushing for their successors to win the governorship while at the same time they are also on the ballot for senatorial slots that are not certain.

Investigation reveals that even the Party elders feel that governors need to be supported to enable them win such states like in Sokoto which PDP won by just 300 votes in 2019 as recently talked about by Wike.

Sokoto is a state that can go any way in 2023. The governor has spent a better part of his four year mandate trying to be president, going everywhere and not concentrating in developing the state and this has made the people angry.

What has saved him is his recent support for Atiku which is interpreted as a support for the North and the commendation that follows is giving him credit back home but Wamako, his master and leader of the APC in Sokoto is strong and the APC is coming up seriously, and with funding available as a result of Tinubu’s candidacy, Tambuwal has to be reminded to focus on his state as even his senatorial bid is now shaky.

Governor Ugwuanyi has a senatorial ambition and a successor to deliver but luckily Sen. Ike Ekweremadu has piped down but for a state like Benue, there’s a revolution around the APC governorship candidate, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia, and everybody in benue is shouting ‘Yes Father’ with their own money and their own cost.

Ortom has jettisoned the popular candidate and at the dying minute and brought the speaker of the state assembly who is not considered to be popular. So, the national chairman and Ortom should be mobilizing to win Benue which is a tough call.

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The other governor with Wike is Seyi Makinde. Before the election, Seyi Makinde’s management of the state and the party has led to the exodus of all key members of the party. Makinde is alone now and with a Tinubu as the flag bearer of the APC with Teslim Folarin as the governorship candidate, Oyo APC is stronger and all analysis shows that PDP is at the verge of losing the state.

Abia governor, Okezie Ikpeazu who came with Wike to lobby for him is also in serious crisis, not only is he known to have performed below par, Abia people feel that a more popular Abaribe would have been better. With the APC upsurge with Orji Uzor Kalu and Alex Otti in Labour Party with the Peter Obi’s Labour Party wind blowing, Abia state is a state that PDP has to watch out.

For Governor Wike, the odds are not really in his favor. The way and manner he has brought his successor, an unknown civil servant to the anger of all the key people who have backed and supported him.

Rivers PDP is sitting on the keg of gun powder and disgruntled stakeholders are waiting to strike. He is weaker as he did not get the presidential nomination and he is also lucky Amaechi did not get the APC presidential ticket but Amaechi has a candidate who is also formidable cash wise and this election will be conducted while the federal government is still APC. Luckily Wike has gone the Riverine way but he still needs to concentrate on the state, a key PDP state to be able to harness the votes in all elections. It will be wrong for him to assume, as he’s not as popular as he thinks.

Investigations reveal that there is a lot of anger, frustration over his leadership style and his management of the state which people will show at the right time.

Wike and his people should not forget that in the last election, it was the court that held that the APC was not on any ballot in Rivers state and it was not because of his strength, popularity or performance. APC had no candidate for any elective offices but even then he knows the fight he fought with an unknown AAC. This time, APC will be on the ballot and every seat will be contested for. He should be advised to focus on the state.

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Because of all of these, PDP leaders and stakeholders are in agreement with Tambuwal that the options for the VP candidacy should not be limited to only serving governors.

This is where names like Emeka Ihedioha, senator Chimaroke Nnamani, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Senator Sam Egwu, and in the South South, Senator Liyel Imoke, Donald Duke, Celestine Omehia, Austin Opara, Emmanuel Uduaghan, Senator Seriake Dickson and Mike Oghiadomhe should be considered.

Even in the APC, the same scenario is playing out as sitting governors are fighting over who would be vice. If Tinubu gets a Christian, Lalong happens to be the only APC Christian governor, but is Lalong considered Northern enough? Others are pushing for Boss Mustapha, the current Secretary to the Government of the Federation who is from Adamawa state. Will Adamawa people abandone their son Atiku who is a presidential candidate for a Vice Presidential candidate?

Some are pushing for Yakubu Dogara, former speaker of the House of Representatives who only controls two or three local government in his constituency. Can he even deliver his state how much more the whole North? That is the dilemma. The APC leaders are now looking for other viable Christians but which Christian VP candidate can Tinubu pick that can sweep the entire North even with his supposed assumed goodwill?

So, other governors are now saying that they should be on the ticket and this include, Governor Badaru of Kebbi State , Governor Bagudu of Jigawa State, Governor Elrufai of Kaduna, Governor Ganduje of Kano State and this struggle has created a confusion and people like Governor Zulum of Borno State is the only one who has declined to be Vice President, instead he is on the same page with Tambuwal of PDP, saying that his boss and predecessor, Kashim Shettima should be considered as a running mate.

And if any of these governors or Shettima are chosen, it means that the APC and Tinubu will be presenting a Muslim-Muslim ticket, the first of its kind since Abiola Kingibe in 1993

The consensus generally emerging now is that, The ego contest and political challenges the governors are managing is such that both flag bearers may be advised to leave the governors alone to focus and win their states.

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