Nigeria: PDP Mulls Fall-Back Options for Presidential Aspirants

Senate President Bukola Saraki.
6 August 2018

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is considering drafting a list of fall-back options for presidential aspirants seeking the ticket of the party ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Cources hinted Daily Trust yesterday that the option 'B' was aimed at pacifying aspirants, who would lose the presidential primaries.

Our correspondent gathered that the party was walking a tight rope following influx of top politicians and increasing number of its presidential aspirants which now stands at 15.

Daily Trust reports that the choice of presidential candidate has become a difficult task for the party following the return of Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Senate President Bukola Saraki ostensibly to contest the ticket.

But insiders told our correspondent that the party was scheming to ensure serving governors and senators in their first terms, were granted automatic tickets to run for a second term if they lost the presidential primaries.

A foundation member of the party from the North told Daily Trust that some of the presidential aspirants were also likely to be given the governorship tickets of their states to run if they lose the presidential primaries.

"The aspirants have been made to understand that the agenda is to unseat the APC government. So they have agreed to support whoever emerges at the primaries.

"But the party in its wisdom is working out a machinery to ensure no one is aggrieved at the end of the day," he said.

He revealed that the party planned to allot ministerial, ambassadorial and other slots as compensation to other aspirants, who would lose at the primaries.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan in a statement Saturday, said, "The PDP has taken note of all concerns raised by highly respected and committed leaders of the party, as it concerns accommodation of interests as well as new alignments, and has since taken extensive measures that would ultimately ensure that no person or group is, in anyway, short-changed.

"All members must therefore, dispel every fear in relation to control of our structure as well as processes for selection of candidates for election, especially on the choice of our presidential candidate, as such will be handled with the strictest adherence to the principles of internal democracy and zero tolerance for imposition."

So far, those interested in the party's presidential ticket are; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe State; Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State; former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau; former Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki; former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido and founder of Baze University, Sen. Datti Baba-Ahmed.

Others are former governor of Kaduna State, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi; Senate President Bukola Saraki; former governor of Kano State Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso; former Senate President David Mark; Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State; Chief Alfa Muhammed Oliver and former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke.

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