The clamour for Nigeria’s next president to emerge from the southeastern part of the country has faded into oblivion, at least for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Nigeria’s oldest political party, PDP, is seen as a major determiner of the 2023 general elections. Anyone who wins the party’s ticket stands a great chance of becoming Nigeria’s next president.
Adamawa indigene and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, clinched the opposition’s presidential mandate in a keenly contested primary election at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja on Saturday night, dealing a hefty blow to the probability of an Igbo presidency come 2023.
Atiku is from the North.
Former Anambra Governor, Peter Obi, withdrew from the race and the party over “irreconcilable differences,” leaving former Senate President Pius Anyim and Sam Ohabunwa as the only viable Igbo candidates.
As things turned out, it seemed that the Igbo delegates who attended the PDP convention did not share their tribesmen’s so-called clamour for an Igbo president.
Anyim got only 14 votes while Ohabunwa got one. There were 97 South-East delegates at the PDP primary. The rest of them must have voted for Wike, Atiku or the other PDP candidates.
Their decision to not choose an Igbo flag bearer could be reflective of the belief that it would be better to elected a sellable PDP candidate who can win in 2023 than choose a candidate based on ethnic sentiment.
PDP has over the years pride itself as a pan-Nigeria democratic party, and not a group of parochial tribesmen bent on furthering the interest of an ethnic group over the rest of the country.
Perhaps the PDP Igbo delegates votes were only a reflection of this mantra.
PDP governed Nigeria since the return to democratic rule in 1999 to 2015 when they lost the presidency to the All Progressives Congress (APC) who have been in power since then.
Can Atiku turn the tide in 2023?