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2023: Atiku, Saraki’s ambitions under threat as PDP set to zone presidency to south

The political ambitions of Atiku Abubakar, a former Nigerian vice-president, and Bukola Saraki, a former Nigerian senate president, to rule Nigeria, may have been truncated if information reaching The Witness is anything to go by.

This is because Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which Atiku and Saraki currently belong to, is said to have zoned its 2023 presidential ticket to the southern region, barring any last-minute changes.

It was also gathered that the party has also resolved that the south-west, south-east and south-south will swap their current national party offices with north-west, north-east, and north-central in that order.

While Abubakar hails from Jada, in Adamawa State, north-east, Saraki is from Kwara State, north central Nigeria.

Recall, the chairman of the party’s Zoning Committee and governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, had announced last Thursday that the party had zoned the position of its national chairman to the north. The National Executive Committee of the PDP on Thursday, also approved the zoning of the position of the national chairman to the north.

But according to inside sources, the party’s decision to cede its presidential ticket to the south was to ensure fairness and equity.

According to the highly placed chieftain of the party: “I can tell you, the presidency is going to the south.

“You know it has been our tradition that, if the national chairman is picked from the north, its presidential candidate will come from the south,’’ the source said.

When asked about Atiku and Sakai’s fates, the two major contenders for the seat in the party, the source said, “that is why it has not been announced.

“We are currently consulting with them so that everyone will be carried along, but, the decision has been made,” the source disclosed.

It would be called that the two PDP chieftains were among the 12 aspirants who converged in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital for the 2018 convention, won by Atiku.

While Atiku clinched the ticket with 1,532 votes, Saraki came third with 317 votes.

Buoyed by his last outing, Atiku who has travelled the length and breadth of the country in the past two years, building bridges of friendship, sees 2023 as his last chance to realize his dream of governing Nigeria as an elected president.

Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP’s spokesperson, did not respond to The Witness’ inquiries on the development as at press time.

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