All eyes are on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as it gets set to nominate its presidential candidate for the 2019 general elections.
Since it lost the 2015 general election, after 16 years in power, the PDP has not left anyone in doubt about its intention to return to power in 2019.
From within and outside the PDP, a lot people are watching to see if the opposition party will get it right in the nomination of its standard bearer for the 2019 presidential poll.
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The interest of members of the public, as well as the stalwarts of the PDP, in who becomes the party’s presidential candidate, is understandable.
Analysts say the party’s success or failure in the 2019 presidential poll, to a large extent, would depend on who it nominates as presidential candidate and the manner in which the candidate emerges.
At the last count, 13 aspirants have obtained the party’s presidential nomination and expression of interest forms. They are: former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku; Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former Chairman, PDP National Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Makarfi; Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal; Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo and former Minister of Special Duties, Taminu Turaki.
Others are former Senate President, David Mark; former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso; former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido; former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa; former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang; the founder of Baze University, Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed; and Stanley Osifo from Edo State.
Expectedly, tension is beginning to mount in the party, as the presidential aspirants and their supporters scheme on how to get upper hand in the contest for the party’s ticket.
The national convention, where the PDP standard bearer will emerge is scheduled to hold on October 5 to 6.
Also, most of the aspirants have equally embarked on a nationwide tour to market themselves to the delegates, who will decide who the PDP 2019 presidential candidate will be.
However, several leaders of the party have expressed concern that the large number of aspirants, may pose a challenge for the party.
Specifically, the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin, has said repeatedly that there is need to prune down the number of the presidential aspirants in the interest of the party.
The BoT chairman is afraid that if all the aspirants are allowed to go for the primary, there might be disagreements among them, which would lead to a crack in the opposition party in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.