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PDP presidential aspirants pursue governorship, senatorial tickets after losing

PDP presidential aspirants pursue governorship, senatorial tickets after losing

After the victory of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 election, all most all of his co-contestants are to pick governorship and senatorial tickets for the general elections. 

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal were among the 12 presidential aspirants who sought to fly the ticket of the PDP in next year’s presidential election. Unfortunately, they failed in their bid to clinch the ticket. Atiku was the choice of the delegates with a total of 1,532 votes.

Saraki and Tambuwal came distant third and second respectively. While Saraki got 317 votes, Tambuwal got 693 votes. By these votes, Saraki and Tambuwal are technically out of the presidential race, but are they out of electoral contest in next year’s general election? This is probably no. Saraki currently represents Kwara Central in the Senate. Alhaji Isiaka Gold, Secretary to the Kwara State Government, won the ticket for the zone in the recently conducted PDP senatorial primary. A source revealed that Alhaji Gold is holding the ticket in trust for Saraki, and now that he lost the presidential ticket, he will likely surrender the senatorial ticket for the Senate President to return to the Senate next year.

Tambuwal, on his part, ensured that his former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Manir Dan-Iya emerged PDP governorship candidate for Sokoto State. Like Saraki, the governor bought the gubernatorial form in Alhaji Dan- Iya’s name. He will most likely collect the ticket from the former commissioner and contest the March 2, 2019 gubernatorial election. Former Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, currently represents Kano Central.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) quickly gave Kano Central ticket to his political rival, Malam Ibrahim Shekaru, who went back to APC immediately Kwankwaso returned to PDP. But the former governor, who scored 158 votes in the weekend’s PDP presidential primary, might seek to go back to the Senate.

He played the same game in 2014 when he ran against President Muhammadu Buhari for the APC presidential ticket. He is likely to do the same thing this time. Ali Madakin Gini, who picked the PDP ticket for Kano Central Senatorial zone, is one of his trusted allies. He anticipated that he might lose the presidential ticket, hence he looked for an associate to hold the senatorial ticket in trust for him. Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo is also playing a smart one. Dankwambo, who is serving out his second term in office, is eyeing the Senate. Mohammadu Ribadu, who picked the PDP senatorial ticket for Gombe North, is one of his commissioners. Ribadu will likely relinquish the ticket to him now that Dankwambo has lost the presidential ticket.

It is a win-win situation for former Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido who scored 96 votes in last weekend’s presidential primary. His son, Mustaph Sule Lamido is currently holding the Jigawa North- Central Senatorial ticket. It is either Lamido picks the ticket from him or he works for his son’s success in the main election. Either way, any of the Lamidos might be in the Senate next year. Former President of the Senate, David Mark, might have concluded plans not to return to the National Assembly after 20 years of uninterrupted sojourn.

The PDP senatorial ticket for Benue South that Mark currently represents is in the custody of the former Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Morro, one of his trusted allies.His counterpart in Plateau North, Jonah Jang, might have also lost out. Jang, a former governor of Plateau State, will leave the National Assembly when his tenure expires in June next year. Hon. Istifanus Dung Gyang, a member representing Barkin Ladi/ Riyom Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives is the one who will fly PDP ticket in the 2019 general election. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given political parties between October 10 and 18 to submit Forms CF001 and CF002, which are for presidential and National Assembly candidates while that of governorship and House of Assembly will come very much later. This will, therefore, give PDP enough time to do the necessary changes.

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