Since its defeat in 2015, which ended 16 years of uninterrupted leadership, the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), aims to regain control of the country. To increase its chances after eight years of shortage, the PDP decided to review its internal rules, which institutionalized the principle of rotation between North and South, and to allow all its members to vote regardless of their geographical origin, and by secret ballot.
After eight years of Muhammadu Buhari, many believe it is time for power to return to the South. However, northern Nigeria has more voters and the PDP knows that the race must be open if they are hoping to win.
>> Read The Africa Report – Nigeria 2023: Despite online popularity, Obi follows Atiku, Wike in the race for PDP delegates
Five candidates are in the lead, with assets as determined as their wealth and experience. Their ability to convince voters beyond their territory will be key to the ballot.
Atiku Abubakar, the most experienced
In 1993, he was the youngest presidential candidate for the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Now, at age 75, he is the oldest. In the last PDP primary he participated in, in 2018, he got about 50% of the vote, but he failed to defeat President Buhari in the general election (with 11 million votes, he came second).
Despite everything, he remains optimistic and campaigns on the fact that he is best placed to seize power. Benefiting from a truly financial and political base across the country, Atiku is already a formidable candidate.
Nyesom Wike, the financier
In 2016, Nyesom Wike became the de facto leader of the PDP because of his position as the party’s top fundraiser. Governor of oil -rich Rivers State, he has strong assets and support to win this primary.
He should score points effortlessly in his state, but also generally throughout southern Nigeria. Given some controversial statements he may have made in the past, however it will be more difficult for him to get the necessary votes in the North. His attitude, described by many as arrogant and erratic, can also work against him. In the current state of competition, only Atiku Abubkar is his real opponent. Nyesom Wike has already said he will not accept any other position, including vice president, if he loses in the primaries.
Peter Obi, the most famous
Very popular with connected youth, Peter Obi is said to be one of the most competitive and best equipped candidates. Chairman of one of Nigeria’s largest banks before entering politics in 2002, he survived many setbacks, including impeachment when he was Governor of Anambra State (between 2007 and 2014).
Obi cherished his image as a frugal man – sad though, according to his detractors – and cautiously. During his campaign, he hammered the idea of not being carried away with money. “Do you want to raise money and pass on to future generations a society of despair, kidnapping, robbery and poverty? Is this the society you want for your children? “, he pleaded.
This reluctance to spend, however, may have earned him the support of many delegates, who value the more generous candidates.
Bukola Saraki, the godfather
The political godfather of Kwara State, he is fighting a two -pronged battle: he is not only on a national tour to get the support of PDP delegates, but he is also trying to oust the current APC leadership in his region. , where he sees himself as the undisputed leader.
Former president of the Senate, he received the support of several personalities from the North. But his status as a political hybrid could work against him. In the last PDP primary, he finished third, behind Atiku Abubakar and Aminu Tambuwal.
Aminu Tambuwal, the eternal second
The Sokoto state governor came in second in the last PDP primary – his proximity to Nyesom Wike brought him votes in the north and allowed Atiku Abubakar, also from the north, to beat him hard. As a result, Aminu Tambuwal has adapted its approach and is trying to attract these regions. But there is no doubt that he will find Atiku Abubakar again on his journey.
“I expect Atiku in the North East, Tambuwal in the North West, Obi in the South East, Saraki in the Center North and Wike in the South, prognostic Dare-Ariyo Atoye, from the Coalition for the Defense of Nigerian Democracy. But it is confusing. since the PDP runs only 13 states, the rest is ready.I think the delegates will be able to decide that at the last moment, based on the impression that the candidates will stay with them.And while expecting the pouring of dollars, Secret voting on the ballot ensures that there is no way to force a delegate to vote. »