2023 PDP Presidential Ticket: Take Your Ticket To The North And Sink The Party — Peter Ushie
By Peter Ushie, Abuja
How has the northern elites‘ political domination in Nigeria helped in addressing the numerous socio-political and economic difficulties that have stifled our growth and development over the last 60 years? The PDP as a political party faces extinction if it fields a northern candidate at this time. The PDP must select a candidate from the south to rescue what remains of our national unity and social cohesion.
Atiku’s assertion that he has 12 million votes is ridiculous. The PDP’s base of support is in the south east and south south, and there’s no doubt that the 12 million votes Atiku claims to have are majorly from Igbos in the 36 states, the south south and south east, and the few moderate, liberal voters across the north central. These 12 million votes were delivered to him because he was on the ticket with Peter Obi, and so these 12 million votes might be considered Peter Obi’s vote bank for the upcoming election.
Those who feel the ticket should go to the north and Peter Obi should deputize for whoever wins should think again. How can a man who is currently considered the most credible, generally acceptable, and loveable aspirant be considered for VP to a northern candidate after 8 years of having President Buhari, a northerner? The PDP would be unwise to field a northern candidate at this critical time in our country’s history. After 8 years in the north, power should shift to the south in the interests of justice, fairness, and equity to save whatever remains of our national unity, social cohesion, and continued survival as a nation.
Regardless of what the party chairman says, the APC appears to have decided on this because the northern elites are seen to be lining up behind their preferred candidates in the south. But, unfortunately, those in the PDP who are supposed to be supporting their preferred candidates from the south are also slugging it out with their southern compatriots, which I find repugnant to social justice, fairness, and equity, because the PDP has been largely sustained since 2015, when it was defeated at the centre by the support of its southern wing. Between 2015 and 2019, the PDP’s southern flank was responsible for keeping the party viable. In 2019, the zone came out to give its support to the party, and the party had a very powerful showing in that election. Even though it was not declared the winner, the party retained its support base and has continued to function as a party.
It would be suicidal for the party to take for granted the very base of support that has provided it with oxygen and allowed it to function for the past seven years. It would be foolish for the PDP to gamble away a bucket of water when it is running after a mirage at a short distance. The PDP must now sit down and recalibrate its strategy and bring it into conformity with the south-east interest base, otherwise it will swing the south to the APC in the event that the APC zones its presidency to the south and the PDP fields a northerner. The APC will win the south and the north, and the PDP will have no base.
The Asaba Declaration reaffirmed the South’s commitment to working for a power transition in the south. Power rotation, or power shift, is a constitutional notion that has served and sustained a country as diverse as Nigeria. As a result, the PDP owes it to its loyal base to field a presidential candidate from the south at this time.
Should the PDP field a northern candidate, it should be prepared to fade away. It is ridiculous for the PDP to even consider pairing Peter Obi with Atiku when, by all accounts, Obi appears to be the most popular and acceptable candidate. Obi is believed by many to possess the ability to govern and steer the affairs of a cash-strapped, debt-ridden, and underperforming country like Nigeria. He has a reputation for prudent handling of public funds, and his record as governor of Anambra is impressive.
Why would the PDP jeopardize a guaranteed 10 million Igbo votes in search of an elusive 12 million in the north? Atiku, Tambuwal, and others lack the capacity to win enough votes in the north. To win the presidency, the PDP should use the 10 million votes that come with Obi’s presidency and just rely on the moderate and liberal votes of the middle belt, parts of the north east, and the North West.
All of the country’s major sociocultural organizations, including Ohanaeze Ndigbo, PANDEF, Afenifere, and the Middle Belt Forum, have come together to propose that the presidency should go to the southeast. The PDP’s decision to tinker with popular opinion by throwing the ticket open, thereby sailing against the current cacophonous clamour in the country, is nauseating. Any attempt by the party to run a candidate from the north at this time will doom the PDP. As a result, we must all work together to ensure that the PDP does not make the error of taking their ticket to the north, despite today’s overwhelming demand for Peter Obi to fly the party’s banner.