PDP Governors set to decide presidential candidate
At the just-concluded national elective convention of the PDP in Abuja, governors showed their might as they hand-picked members of the following National Working Committee, NWC, and other federal officers of the party. The Governors elected on the party’s platform have taken firm charge and are prepared to decide who will fly the party’s presidential ticket in 2023.
Atiku, Saraki and Lamido, did everything possible to drum support for Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who contested for the office of Deputy National Chairman (South) against Taofeek Arapaja.
Arapaja, a former deputy governor of Oyo State, rode on the support of the PDP governors to the convention, as requests made to Oyinlola to step down failed.
Indeed, former Vice-President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, ex-Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki and former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido may have warned what awaits them in their rumoured 2023 presidential ambitions. Two hours before the balloting, Atiku, Saraki and Lamido went to state pavilions to woo delegates to support Oyinlola.
The move, according to findings, was aimed at neutralizing the influence of the governors who have since taken hold of the party following the ouster of former chairman Prince Uche Secondus. But it turned out to be an exercise in futility as Arapaja polled 2,004 votes to beat Oyinlola, who got 705 votes.
After the convention, a member of the outgoing NWC stated that the governors had announced themselves as the undisputed owner of the party.
“Atiku and Saraki should realize that their time is over. If they want to pursue their 2023 ambitions, the governors would have a big say.
“What it means is that without the support of the governors, you can’t win a big position in the PDP of today. It is the message I think everyone took home from this convention,” he said.