By Chidiebere Onyemaizu
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s search for 2019 presidential flag bearer has been narrowed to three Northern politicians, The source Magazine has learnt. This does not however mean that the party will not officially throw open the race for the ticket to its eligible members across the 19 Northern states having zoned its presidential ticket to the region.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar who rejoined the party late last year after a sojourn in the All Progressive Congress, APC , the immediate past governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido and his Kano state counterpart and serving APC Senator, Musa Rabiu Kwakwaso have however been penciled down by the national leadership of the party as tentative official choices of the party.
Party sources indicate that before the presidential primaries, a final decision will be made as to between the three politicians who the party will eventually push forward. Though former President Olusegun Obasanjo has repeatedly said he is done with the PDP, multiple sources close to him claim the former leader is well disposed to Kwamkwaso and Lamido’s candidatures and could engineer a national rainbow coalition to support any of them if nominated by the party, not necessary as a PDP presidential candidate but a candidate adopted by the coalition. The two former governors, seen as the former president’s godsons, had served Obasanjo as Ministers before proceeding to their states to contest guber elections.
Obasanjo in a recent letter to President Muhammadu Buhari accused him of incompetency and urged the president to shave any second term ambition. He then spoke of a grand national coalition to stop him from returning to power.
PDP Governors on the other hand are sympathetic to Atiku. The former Vice President has reached out to all the governors and they gave him listening. Recently, he met with the PDP national chairman, Uche Secondus and Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike.
Secondus last week revealed the APC would soon be hit by earth-shaking defections.Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Kwakwaso are among the high ranking APC members, The Source has been informed, who are set to return to the PDP.In the case of Saraki, a deal that will see him retain his position as Senate President after rejoining the PDP is being worked out. At least, 25 APC Senators are expected to move to the PDP with him.This will thus render the APC a minority party in the Senate and incapable of effecting impeachment plot against the Kwara state born medical Doctor-turned politician.