Alhaji Bamanga Tukur
Banks on South-south, South-east, North-central for victory
Chuks Okochain Abujaâ€¨
The formation of the All Progressive Congress (APC) by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the Congress for Progressive Congress (CPC) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) may have forced the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rethink its chances in the 2015 presidential election.
THISDAY gathered that the party was gradually evaluating its chances within the zones and where the weak and strong points of the party lie.
A source spoke to THISDAY yesterday on what could be described as the chances of the party in the face of ‘one leg in, one leg out’ of governors from the North-west and North-east in the newly formed APC.
Inside sources within PDP and the Presidency said with the look of things, the stronghold of the APC would concentrate in the South-west states of Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Oyo, as Ondo State will back the presidential aspiration of President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 general election.
The source said by the calculation of the PDP, the party will at least score the mandatory 25 per cent in the South-west states and more than 60 per cent in Ondo State.
In the same line of permutation, the source said that the PDP would be at home in all the South-south states, including Edo State.
This is because of the relationship between the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiolmhole, and President Jonathan. THISDAY gathered that the relationship between the President and the Edo State accounted for the victory of the ACN in the last governorship in the state.
PDP is also calculating that it will win the votes cast in the following states of the South-south with more than 60 to 75 per cents.
In the same line of calculation, the presidency and PDP said the party would coast home to victory in all the South-east states. By the PDP political permutations, the source said, “We will carry the day in Anambra State, despite the fact that it is under the governorship control of APGA. Majority of the voting electorate are in the PDP. The party has a majority in the state House of Assembly and two out of three senators are members of the PDP. The state governor, Peter Obi, cannot conduct the local government election in the state because of the fear that the PDP will win all the seats.
“Apart from this, Obi is very sympathetic of the PDP. He is a member of the PDP at night and also a member of the President Jonathan economic team. So the state is for the PDP anytime.
“The party is in perfect control in the states of Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia and even Imo States. We are aware that Rochas Okorocha became governor because of the crisis in the state, where some members of the PDP worked for his governorship. The Imo State governor is playing a game. He wants to contest as a presidential candidate. As we talk, his party is in crisis of leadership between him and Obi who is seen as a PDP sympathiser. All these are to the advantage of the PDP both in the governorship and the presidential election.”
In the North-west, the source said the PDP will encounter some problems, but not to the extent that the ruling party will not get more than 25 to 30 per cent of the votes cast.
The source said in the run off to the 2015 general election, that there would be no governorship elections in Sokoto and Kebbi States. This is because of the by-elections in the two states that put the gubernatorial elections in the state in 2016.
According to the source, “PDP will get more than 30 per cent in Jigawa State, if Sule Lamido decamps to the APC, but if he remains in the party, the state remains a PDP state. The same will happen in Kaduna State. The Vice President, Namadi Sambo, will deliver his state for the PDP and President Jonathan.
“We may encounter some problems in Adamawa and Taraba States, but other states like Bauchi, Gombe, Borno and Yobe will vote the PDP, or at least, the party will get more than 50 per cent.”
“The PDP will have free victory in the North-central states of Benue, Plateau, Kogi and Kwara. The only problem is the Niger and Nasarawa States. Nasarawa State is under the control of the CPC, but the majority of the state House of Assembly members are of the PDP,” the source said.
According to the source, “like Jigawa State, if theNiger State governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, stays in the PDP, the state will vote for the PDP, but if he dumps the PDP and join the APC, it goes the other way. The governors of Kwara, Kogi and Plateau States will ensure that PDP carries the day. Mind you, there is this offer of first refusal for the governors of the party that are seeking a second term of office.”
The source explained that by and large, PDP will still carry the day, but “all these plans depend on President Jonathan contesting for the presidency.”