The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may choose its 2023 presidential candidate through indirect primary on 29th May.
At the moment, there are 17 presidential aspirants in the party, many of whom have each paid N40 million for the form made up of Expression of Interest form (N5 million) and Nomination form (N35 million)
Among the aspirants who have obtained forms are former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; his running mate in the 2019 election and former Anambra State Governor, Mr Peter Obi; Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal; Rivers State Governor, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike; former Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki; one of his predecessors and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Bala Mohammed; and former Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose.’
Others are Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel; a pharmacist, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa; media mogul, Mr Dele Momodu; Investment banker and economist, Mr Mohammed Hayatu-Deen; and United States-based medical doctor, Nwachukwu Anakwenze.
Tareila Diana is the only female aspirant.
The main opposition party is however working towards reducing the number of aspirants by encouraging consensus talks. The objective is to prune down the number, but not to have a single candidate ahead of the primary.
Four of the aspirants — Tambuwal, Mohammed, Saraki and Hayatu-Deen— have been going round the country pushing the consensus candidacy.
In an interview with The PUNCH, Saraki’s spokesman, Barrister Yusuf Olaniyonu said: ‘He (Saraki) is a party man to the core. Any decision taken by the party on these two issues (mode of primary and venue) will be okay by him.
‘The fact that he and some others are canvassing consensus candidacy, we have to put it in context. We are not saying consensus candidate means only one person will be presented at the primary.
‘All we’re simply saying is that, reduce the number to a manageably low rate. Now 17 people have taken forms. The date of picking forms has not closed. More people will still pick. But you see, any serious party that wants to win an election cannot go to the primary with 17 aspirants. You cannot. It will be difficult for the party to handle. It will make the convention very complex. What we have started canvassing is to reduce the number to a manageable extent.
‘Create a situation where the aspirants of their own volition can discuss among themselves, persuade each other, some step down for the other so that the number is tremendously reduced’.
Olaniyonu also said by fixing its presidential shadow election for 28th and 29th May, the PDP had automatically adopted an indirect primary.
He argued: ‘Once the party has talked about the convention on 28th and 29th May, you will know that it has automatically ruled out a direct primary. It even said it would elect delegates to represent the 774 local governments. So, it would use indirect’.
PDP spokesman, Mr Debo Ologunagba said that the National Executive Committee would soon decide on major issues, including the mode of primary, and the city that would play host.
‘The report of the zonal committee will be taken to the NEC for consideration’, he added.