2019 Presidency: PDP looks north for presidential candidate

2019 Presidency: PDP looks north for presidential candidate

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  • Runs to IBB for help

Dazed by the loss of the April 2015 presidential elections and the gale of losses recorded in the governorship polls of the period, the Peoples Democratic Party seems to have settled for a rebound strategy.

At a national conference preparatory to its convention in Abuja last week, party stalwarts across the geo-political zones dissolved into cells, brainstorming over the way forward.

Paramount to the party, however, are the two major governorship elections holding in Kogi and Bayelsa states. Though the ultimate aim is the need to re-capture the presidency come 2019, the party would rather give vent to the axiom that ‘the morning shows the day.’

SHOPPING FOR A NORTHERN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

Recalling various retreats that dotted the two-day party conference, a chieftain from Ogun State, Chief Moshood Salami, said, “We have realised our mistakes and at the conference, we proffered solutions to them all. In the first place, we realised that the PDP mistake started from the President Olusegun Obasanjo era, when the then President played a fast one on the north by using default to obey a gentleman’s agreement that power should shift to the North after eight years of Obasanjo’s rule.

“The north was surprised that Obasanjo went to pick Umaru Yar’Adua who wasn’t their choice, as his health challenge was well known to everybody. And when Yar’Adua, as President, eventually died, it became clear to the north that a fast one had been played on them.”

Salami added that the PDP believed that former President Jonathan, who succeeded Yar’Adua and reached out to the north when he wanted to contest for his own term, would only go for one term.

“But to the surprise of the northern leaders, Jonathan rose to contest for a second term, a situation that made them to support General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, who won the presidential election.”

The PDP, he said, had now realised its mistakes and was willing to placate the north by shopping for a credible presidential material from the zone ahead of the 2019 presidential election.

For the party, however, it has realised that rival APC, even if Presidential Buhari is unwilling to contest for a second term, would still pick its presidential candidate from the North. “This is why the issue of picking a credible candidate is paramount,” Salami harped.

WOOING OLD PARTY MEMBERS

Inside sources, who attended the Abuja conference are largely upbeat, revealing that moves had been made to reach out to disgruntled former party members who defected to the APC.

But a former PDP Chairman in Lagos State, Mr. Setonji Koshoedo, who was at the conference, agreed that it would be an uphill task to recall old members, though he said it was a welcome move.

“As a party, we have to do more work; because the PDP we have now is quite different from the one we used to have. We have to work hard and bring back many members who left the party, including those that have chosen to be indifferent,” Koshoedo said, while speaking with The Point.

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