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Where will PDP get its votes in the 2023 presidential election? By Basil Okoh

Atiku Abubakar

In the run up to the 2023 presidential election, PDP is imploding and unraveling as it faces so many treacheries, disappointments and failure of leadership. The party also contends with new threats and emergent challengers in every state it used to claim as its captive territory. PDP spends big money to win elections but it does not presently have the big money for the 2023 campaign and elections.

So what all these mean is that PDP does not presently have a path to electoral victory in most states, neither does it have the critical thinking and the humility necessary to change the course and trajectory of its campaign.

It could have achieved so much by making peace with the G5 governors. These governor’s fund and control the PDP structures in many states where PDP does not have governors. Nyesom Wike for instance funds the PDP structures in Cross River state where the PDP governor defected to APC. Atiku Abubakar and Ifeanyi Okowa have never funded any PDP states in any way. The G5 governors control states both in the northern and southern Nigeria numbering 14 at the present time. How does PDP lose hold of 14 states out of 36 to the G5 governors and hope to win the presidential election?

Again, PDP has shown itself unworthy of the trust and vote of multi-ethnic Nigeria by working to enthrone another Fulani as president after eight years of impoverishment by an underperforming Fulani whose nepotism proved him unworthy of the trust of a multi ethnic nation.

The leadership of PDP was hijacked by Atiku, Ayu and their cohorts and has now become menacingly ranged against southern Nigeria despite the pretensions of the presidential running mate Ifeanyi Okowa. The leadership is suffused and overladen with traitors as the party has lost its moral compass. From the national chairman Iyorchia Ayu to the presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and his running mate Ifeanyi Okowa, bullying and treachery have become operational guideline for advancement and success within the PDP. When a political party loses its moral compass, it also loses its path to public endearment.

PDP willfully worked to enthrone personal interests above the stated goals of their party and the constitutional demand for federal character in public dealings in the nation, thereby betraying the trust of the people from whom it seeks the vote.

There is today no state outside Adamawa that can be said to be in the box for PDP in the coming presidential election, even states in the Niger Delta which was a known and trusted PDP territory.

Atiku Abubakar thought he was pulling a fast one on the south when he connived with PDP national chairman Iyorchia Ayu, governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the big men of the north to force Tambuwal, against procedure, to stand down during the presidential primaries in order to ensure the victory of a fellow northerner. The politically destructive gambit was aided by funds provided by Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta state, who himself was on a mission to betray the south and deny it of its turn at the presidency.

Atiku succeeded in his conceited scheme and won the PDP primaries but he ended up preparing the grounds for the disruption of his own presidential campaign.

For Atiku Abubakar, the self entitled claim of being the northern candidate has fizzled in the face of the strong challenge by Rabiu Kwankwaso whose strong grip on the northwest is getting tighter by the passing day. Atiku led those who in 2015, strong-armed Kano state out of PDP control through religious propaganda and made the Kanawa turn APC. Now he is too mealy mouthed to unsay what he said back in 2015 to win back Kano now that he is the PDP presidential candidate even as Kano is moving inexorably into rival NNPP.

Atiku issued a very public advisory to northern voters during a meeting with Arewa Consultative Forum in Kaduna to vote only for a northern candidate. Someone must remind him now that the northern candidates northerners are lining up behind are Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso.

Atiku and PDP did not take heed of the changed dynamics of the 2023 election. That new and transformational dynamic was infused into the campaign for presidency with the entry of Peter Obi into the race. Peter Obi has now, before our very eyes, taken the territories previously ascribed to the PDP and is advancing to also take formerly foreclosed strongholds in northern Nigeria.

Right from it’s formation in 1998, Atiku Abubakar has been the chief tormentor and disrupter of the PDP, undermining its cohesion and threatening its unity in every election cycle. In 2003, he opposed the second term bid of Olusegun Obasanjo and forced the party to be beholden to him to win the presidential election that year.

In 2007, he stormed out of the party and ran for president under the ACN and lost to Yar-aduah of the PDP. He later returned to PDP and in 2015, he led a northern regional rebellion against PDP and made Goodluck Jonathan to lose the presidential election to Mohammadu Buhari, his kinsman, thereby pushing PDP into opposition. In 2019, he returned again to the PDP and successfully insisted on the turn of the north to provide a presidential candidate.

His present nomination for 2023 is disruptive of the normative order that he claimed in 2019 in the PDP and stands rejected by Southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt. So Atiku really has only the core north to seek votes in the coming election, as he is already rejected in the South and Middle Belt of Nigeria. The Southern region and the Middle Belt are clearly decided to reject him in the coming presidential election.

The core northern part of the country has itself been shared four ways with Rabiu Kwankwaso taking the rump of the region of the core north, Kano, Jigawa and parts of Katsina.

Atiku also faces the prospect of a burgeoning voter rebellion by the vast Hausa population in the northern region. The Hausa are now challenging the institutional hegemony of the Fulani which holds the indigenous Hausa population hostage as serfs.

So who’s left to vote for Atiku Abubakar and the PDP in next year’s presidential election?

At home in his own Delta state, Atiku’s running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa, with his exposures and growing unpopularity, will be lucky to get away with 25% of the presidential votes. With the surging Peter Obi popularity and the growing uptick in APC revival in Delta state through it’s governorship candidate, Ovie Omo-Agege, the credibility challenged PDP governorship candidate, Sherriff Oborevwori, in clear jeopardy, stands to lose in the governorship elections.

The daunting challenge for Okowa in Delta state is that the people eventually wised up to know his true nature. It took a long time but the growing exposure of his infamy has torn the veil of decency with which he adorned himself. The people now know the venal, kleptomaniac and nepotistic personality hidden behind the veil.

Any questions on Okowa’s integrity should be directed to the seventeen governors of Southern Nigeria who joined him to issue a communique at Asaba read by Okowa himself that the next president of Nigeria should come from Southern Nigeria.

So we ask again, where will PDP get it’s votes in the coming Presidential election?

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