ABUJA (Sundiata Post) I see trouble ahead in the PDP presidential primary race. Let me explain. Setting aside the huge political egos that will clash almost irreconcilably in the primaries and the bitter feelings that may linger in the aftermath, each of the aspirants has passionate, committed supporters/followers baked into their presidential aspiration.
The problem with this reality is that these supporters are niche supporters, singularly devoted to their candidates but not to any of the other aspirants. They are not transferable supporters. The implication of this is that when one of them emerges, it is unlikely that the supporters of the other candidates will support him or transfer their emotional investments to him. Emotions generate passion. momentum, voter turnout, and enthusiasm.
A related point is that, yes, the aspirants’ northern supporters love their aspirants, and are PDP members or supporters, but that’s only because their candidate is in the PDP primary race and they are hoping that this candidate will emerge with the PDP ticket. They do not detest or dislike Buhari enough to actually vote against him if their preferred PDP aspirant fails in the primary. They may stay home on election day or grudgingly vote for Buhari.
Take the Kwankwasiyya camp for example. If their man does not get the PDP ticket, they will almost certainly vote for Buhari. I don’t see them voting for Atiku, Tambuwal, Makarfi, Dankwambo, Lamido, or whoever emerges with the PDP ticket. They don’t dislike Buhari enough to vote against him. The. person they’re really after is Governor Ganduje of Kano. In the Kano gubernatorial contest, the Kwankwasiyya supporters will surely vote PDP regardless of who the gubernatorial ticket goes to.
It is of course not clear that the failed aspirants will rally round the primary winner–and that they dislike Buhari enough to actively work against him or to work for his defeat if the PDP candidate is not them.
Nor is it clear that, even if they are committed to Buhari’s defeat regardless of who emerges, they will be able to corral their supporters away from Buhari and towards the PDP candidate in the general election.
Buhari is vulnerable and is there for the taking, but the aforementioned factors may be PDP’s undoing.