One and half years ahead of the 2019 general election, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not leaving any stone unturned in its determination to dislodge President Muhammadu Buhari and his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) from the centre.
Although its bid to select a consensus chairmanship candidate ahead of the national convention slated for December 9, which is crucial to its future plans, appeared shaky, the party is determined to overcome the challenge without rancour.
A stakeholders meeting held in Enugu on Sunday to streamline the process, and attended by no fewer than six aspirants including Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Chief Jimi Agbaje, Chief Bode George, Prof Tunde Adeniran and Rasheed Ladoja, failed to reach an accord.
Daily Sun gathered that the party leaders were unanimous in their resolve to get their forthcoming convention right, as that would put the party in a “steady form” ahead of its presidential primary, holding next year.
A source at the meeting said an agreement was reached that before the week runs out all the aspirants would return to the national secretariat of the party in Abuja to sign an undertaking to abide by the outcome of the election at the convention.
The source also said that the meeting agreed that the chairmanship slot was still zoned to the South and would not be de-zoned.
The APC made history in Nigeria by being the first opposition party to defeat an incumbent president. But it appears the party may make another history as a party that could not govern beyond one term, if the feelers from the PDP camp are anything to go by.
It was gathered that the first step in the plot to sack the APC at the centre is PDP’s determination to get a national chairman that would appeal to all the various tendencies within the party.
Once that is done with, the next step would be to work towards getting a “credible presidential candidate” from the North, whose acceptability would cut across the northern and southern parts of the country, with a running mate from the South-East.
The presidential candidate, it was further gathered, “must be one that could match Buhari, especially in the North, in case he decides to run.”
A competent source in the PDP said before the choice of a presidential candidate, the party “would have received our former members who had defected to the APC before 2015, back to our fold. We are working on them, and majority of them have signified intention to return. The truth is that they are not happy where they are. They can’t wait to return.
“We made our mistakes in 2015. But we have learnt the hard way. We are making efforts to correct them. Go and check the results of the presidential election again, you will observe that we would have still managed to win if we had fielded a northern candidate in 2015. But like I said, we made mistakes. We have learnt our lessons.”