- There are strong indications that the Peoples Democratic Party might be tilting towards the southern part of the country for its presidential candidate
- Sources within the party have also confirmed that delegates are serious lobbying for the emergence of the Akwa Ibom state governor as the party's 2023 flagbearer
- According to sources, odds may favour Governor Emmanuel Udom as PDP's candidate for several reasons including his achievements at the state level
Facts have emerged that several blocs within the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), including very influential statutory delegates to the party’s national convention for the election of its presidential candidate, have intensified pressure for the adoption of Akwa Ibom state governor, Udom Emmanuel, as the 2023 presidential election consensus candidate.
This is coming on the heels of last Wednesday’s adoption of consensus by the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) as one of the options for the selection of its candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
In addition, the Inter-Party Presidential Consensus Forum (IPCF) on Thursday, May 19, restated its earlier call on all the governors of the party to adopt Udom as PDP's consensus candidate.
Previous recommendations for the party
IPCF also recommended that other aspirants from the north should, in the interest of national peace, justice, equity and fairness, allow the south to produce the next president, after the eight years tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.
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It was gathered that the lobby for Governor Emmanuel as a consensus presidential candidate was bolstered after the meeting of PDP governors in Abuja last Wednesday with no fewer than seven out of the 13 party governors said to be disposed to discussions in the Akwa Ibom state governor's favour.
A source at the governors’ meeting in Abuja hinted that the seven governors, who are not in the presidential contest, leaned towards Udom.
The source said that the governors are doing so, especially, given their conviction that the choice of the Akwa Ibom governor will douse the tension that has arisen from the south/north contest for the presidency as he is said to be amenable to both sides.
However, Legit.ng gathered that while only four out of the 13 PDP governors are contesting the presidency, no southeast governor from the opposition party is in the 2023 presidential race.
It would be recalled that the PDP governors are insisting that the party should draw its presidential candidate from its fold; a position that has gained traction due to the high influence the governors exert in the electoral process, particularly the control of delegates for the presidential primary.
Speaking on the development, a top national official of the PDP, who pleaded anonymity, hinted that there might be surprises ahead of the presidential primary.
The source averred that the odds may favour Udom under the consensus arrangement.
He confirmed that there has been pressure on delegates from several blocs within the PDP including very influential stakeholders pushing for the adoption of Governor Udom as the party's flag bearer in the 2023 elections.
The source said:
“Yes. I can confirm to you that our Party is exploring the consensus arrangement as resolved by the NEC.
"Stakeholders are talking among themselves. Our governors are meeting and they are taking decisions including their insistence that one of them should be the Presidential candidate."
“Several blocs have emerged. There are discussions around Udom Emmanuel whose candidacy they believe will douse the tension that has arisen from the north and south contest for the Presidency. You know Udom Emmanuel is amenable to both sides."
Meanwhile, the national coordinator of IPCF, Abubakar Danladi, noted that the forum’s consultation across the country indicated a widespread preference for Governor Udom.
“We have conducted a series of surveys and reviews among Nigerians with Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) and the result shows that most Nigerians support for a younger leader as well as power-shift to the southern parts of the country citing national peace, equity, justice and rapid development as major reasons.
“Our surveys showed that more Nigerians preferred the Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Emmanuel Udom, because of his personal composure, proven capacity to ensure national unity and stimulate human capital and infrastructural development in critical sectors."
Danladi added that the survey also reflected on Udom's ability to establish and successfully manage highly specialized ventures including the Ibom Air, Ibom Deep Sea Port, Ibom Industrial Park/Jetty as well as power.
Others achievements of the governor listed were refinery projects, gas processing plants and top-class health facilities which show that with his type of leadership our nation can indeed achieve success in such critical areas.
Danladi noted that the IPCF will send a high-powered delegation to the PDP leadership with a detailed report on the acceptability and electoral worth of the party’s presidential aspirants among Nigerians.
This he said will serve as a to the opposition party ahead of the presidential primary.
Influential governor reveals why he believes Nigerians will vote PDP presidential in 2023
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state had said that he is convinced that a Peoples Democratic Party candidate will emerge as president in 2023.
Ortom said when the governor of Akwa Ibom state Emmanuel Udom paid him a visit on Thursday, May 19.
According to the governor, the opposition party has an array of qualified and experienced aspirants contesting for the 2023 presidency.
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Governor Udom had earlier given reasons why he joined the 2023 presidential race under the PDP.
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The governor said he wants to partner with God to be president of Nigeria, saying God needs to intervene in the affairs of the nation.
Governor Emmanuel also dismissed rumours that he is contesting to position himself as the vice-presidential candidate of the PDP.