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Four Horse Race: Atiku, Saraki, Wike, Obi Compete for PDP Delegates Ahead of Presidential Primary 

The presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is slated for this weekend in Abuja, the nation’s capital, and the different aspirants, have been at the top of their

The presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is slated for this weekend in Abuja, the nation’s capital, and the different aspirants, have been at the top of their wits, ensuring that all loose ends were neatly tidied up. However, after weeks of traveling round the country, it is beginning to get crystal clearer how the states may ultimately vote in this all-important pre-election exercise.

Although it is public knowledge that there are 15 aspirants in all, angling to fly the opposition party’s flag (after two were disqualified from the initial 17), this analysis is done with four leading presidential hopefuls in focus. They are former vice-president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki; former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi and the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

The chances of the four contestants indicate that while three of the four major contenders will emerge tops having made friends in all the states, the fourth, Obi, well liked across the country and may have the national  spread, but that will not translate to enough votes to win him the candidacy of his party, the PDP.

Also worthy of mention is a former banker and businessman, Mr Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, who although will garner some votes in specific states, especially in the north-east, may not make much impact. In addition, while Governor Aminu Tambuwal will readily win in Sokoto and share votes in a few other states, he will not have the national spread to win the primaries. The same goes for Governor Emmanuel Udom, who is expected to pick a single state and votes in a few others.

While extrapolations based on the actual number of delegates might have become nearly impossible following the refusal by the president, Muhammadu Buhari, to sign the latest amendment to the Electoral Act, the current state of play, ironically, has given a more distinct picture of where the states each stand in terms of delegates voting, ultimately. Olawale Olaleye writes

Abia State

A Southeast state under the leadership of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia would not mind a candidate from the southern zone, in this case Peter Obi. But with the governor recently openly declaring support for Wike, votes here would be shared between the Rivers State governor and Obi, although Wike stands a better chance with Ikpeazu. Abia is for Wike.

Adamawa State

Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, is for Atiku and being his home state, the Adamawa delegates will naturally vote Atiku 100 per cent, both on personal recognition and the governor’s influence. Adamawa Goes to Atiku

Akwa Ibom State

The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, is also in the race for the PDP presidential ticket and since governors are in natural control of their delegates, there’s no debating where the delegates in Akwa Ibom would vote. Emmanuel Gets It

Anambra State

As their governor for eight years, the period of which was believed to have accounted for their best, at least, as the narrative has remained, Anambra State would have been considered a 100 per cent deal for Obi, factoring the home zone advantage, but it is not. While he is going to have a significant edge, he is definitely sharing some of the votes with Atiku, at least, some percentage yanked off his stake. Anambra Goes to Obi

Bauchi State

Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauch State, is also a presidential hopeful, but might have been caught between returning to office as governor and trying his luck at the presidential primary. But in the event he chooses to back any of his co-aspirants and enters into any form of negotiations, Mohammed might direct the Bauchi delegates to vote for Saraki. Until then, Bauchi is standing with its Governor.

Bayelsa State

Bayelsa is one of the fishing ponds for all the aspirants and they are all likely to battle for votes here, depending on how well they each stand. On the one hand, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s influence is presumed could help Wike wield some influence, but his bitter relationship with former governor Seriake Dickson, on the other hand, could also work against him, since the incumbent, Diri Diouye, is Dickson’s governor. Yet, Diouye too is friend to both Saraki and Tambuwal, given the National Assembly connection. Thus, Bayelsa is too close to call.

Benue State

Although Governor Samuel Ortom of the state would rather a southern president, naturally, he is a friend of Saraki and coming from North Central, there’s zone advantage for the former Kwara governor. Yet, Benue would be shared between Saraki and Wike, while the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, would get some votes too, because of the Gabriel Suswam factor. Suswam is close to Emmanuel. Benue would be shared between Saraki and Wike

Borno State

Borno is home to Mohammed Hayatu-Deen and zone to Atiku. But Atiku does not currently boast any visible influence in the state, therefore, it is for the taking for Hayatu-Deen. But Saraki and Wike are likely to steal from the votes here, especially, because the governorship candidate in the state, Mohammed Imam, is a factor and ally of Wike. Borno will Ultimately Go Hayatu-Deen’s Way

Cross River State

Cross River State is between Udom Emmanuel and Wike with some votes going for Saraki and Atiku.

Delta State

Despite the differences between Okowa and Ibori,  the state remains for Atiku with some votes going to Saraki.

Ebonyi State

Ebonyi is definitely rooting for its own, former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim. It’s a no contest zone and another waste of votes as the former senate president is unlikely to make any impact. It’s in the bag for Anyim

Edo State

The scenarios in Edo come in two folds. First, the case over the leadership of the party in the state is in court. However, If the choice of delegates would be based on the list with Governor Godwin Obaseki, then, the Edo votes are largely for Saraki and partly for Atiku. But If the list by Dan Orbih is the accepted one then the balance changes. Edo is disputed

Ekiti State

Ekiti State is technically in the hands of former governor Ayodele Fayose, who in turn, is loyal to Wike, the man believed to have bought him the presidential forms. Except for the likelihood that there could be some deviant delegates, who might rail against Fayose, Ekiti might have signed up for Wike 80 per cent, conservatively.  Ekiti goes Wike’s way

Enugu State

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State is unrepentantly an advocate of southern president, but is also stuck between Wike and Obi. However, from the current reading of the equation, it is more of Wike than Obi. Enugu is also for Wike.

Gombe State

Gombe, a North East state, is standing between Wike and Hayatu-Deen and some . One, for zone advantage and the other for friendship and influence leveraging.  Looks 50  percent for Atiku and the rest for Wike and Hayattu- Deen

Imo State

Imo ordinarily offers Wike and Tambuwal near-equal chances of vote-grabbing. This is because of their connections to both Emeka Ihedioha, Tambuwal’s deputy as speaker of the House of Representatives and Sam Anyanwu, the party’s secretary and Wike’s ally. But Obi is also making inroads probably from the votes, riding on the Southeast sentiment. So, Imo is between, Wike, Tambuwal and Obi

Jigawa State

Jigawa State looks good for Saraki and Atiku, based on the current political extrapolations in the state. The state, which is in the hands of former governor Sule Lamido, ordinarily looks  good for Saraki and Atiku

Kaduna State

The North West state is likely to play some tricks on the aspirants. While Saraki may good with votes from southern Kaduna,  It’s for Atiku,  Wike and Hayatu-Deen 

Kano State

The soul of Kano PDP is still in the hands of a former governor of the state, Rabiu Kwankwaso, who still nurses the pain of the 2015 APC presidential primaries against Atiku and co. Kano has the largest chunk of delegate votes on offer. This will be shared between  Atiku and Wike

Katsina State

Katsina State is shared   former governor of the state, Ibrahim Shema, who is with shared between Saraki and Wike with some Atiku

Kebbi State

Kebbi is Tambuwal and Atiku

Kogi State

Although Kogi State  shared by Saraki and Atiku

Kwara State

Kwara is not in contention. Home-zone advantage for Saraki is 100 per cent. It’s a no contest state, its for Saraki

Lagos State

Lagos State is going to provide the four a good time to battle, however, with Saraki getting the upper hand up to 50 per cent, while Atiku, Wike Obi share the rest. 

Nasarawa State

Nasarawa State is totally committed to Saraki and Atiku

Niger State

Niger State will be shared between Saraki  and Atiku

Ogun State

Ogun State is doing a tripartite deal with Saraki, Atiku and Wike. So Ogun will be shared between Saraki, Atiku and Wike

Ondo State

Ondo is giving a sizeable number of its votes to Saraki. The state is sympathetic to him because his mum hails from Owo. Saraki will get the bulk of the votes while Atiku and Wike will also get share

Osun State

In Osun, Saraki has an amazing relationship with the PDP candidate in the state, Ademola Adeleke, who has the delegates in his pockets. Osun is shared between Saraki and Atiku

Oyo State

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, is though for a southern president, he is also a friend of Wike and sometimes, defers to him. But he also has sentiments for Saraki. Thus, while Oyo may vote Wike considerably, Saraki stands to share some parts of the votes, although paltry. Goes to Wike

Plateau State

Plateau, a North Central state, is playing host to Saraki, Atiku both will share the votes

Rivers State

Rivers is one hundred per cent for the owner of the state. Wike will take his state, even though it would not change the overall result. Goes to Wike

Sokoto State

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, is a presidential hopeful and will definitely take his state. Sokoto is, however, marked a waste of votes as Tambuwal is believed not to stand any chance in the race.

Taraba State

Taraba, a North East state, has always been in the bag for Atiku but that has changed with the current state of play. Atiku mainly with some votes to others

Yobe State

Yobe State is waiting to share its votes between Atiku and Hayatu-Deen. This is likely to turn out a 50/50 run for Atiku and Hayatu-Deen

Zamfara State

Zamfara  delegates are going to vote for Tambuwal and Atiku.

Federal Capital Territory

Delegates in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will be shared by Atiku, Saraki, Wike and Obi

In the final analysis, the PDP primary appears an interesting one that is likely to defy some bookmarking.

It’s a four horse race given, however given that Hayatu-Deen is new in the race, he may not make much impact. But at the end of it all, it’s a matter of cash because delegates are poor need cash.  But when all delegates get cash from all the aspirants, the power of cash is neutralised. Other factors, such as sentiments and conscience may play a role to swing the votes.  However, for PDP, it’s too close to call as at today, May 24, 2022.


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