Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has intensified his efforts to win votes from the southwest geo-political zone in the forthcoming presidential election.
Naijinfo gathered that this followed the emergence of a former governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The national chairman of PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, raises hands of the party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates.
According to The Punch, sources close to the party and its presidential candidate said the emergence of Tinubu, being an influential politician from the southwest, had changed the dynamics of the party’s preparation as regards how to win votes from the zone.
The northwest, the only geopolitical zone with seven states, has the highest number of registered voters in the country, followed by the southwest, which has Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Osun and Oyo states.
Tinubu poses threat to Atiku’s chances in southwest
It was gathered that some party chieftains in the southwest are demanding fair consideration from the party and Atiku as an incentive for the region, adding that this was important for the PDP to be able to compete favourably with Tinubu in the region.
They said if the party wins the February 25, 2023 presidential election, certain positions should be zoned to the region.
The newspaper noted that the PDP in Oyo state said the Senate presidency should be zoned to the southwest if the party won the presidential election.
The publicity secretary of the party in the state, Akeem Olatunji, in an interview told the newspaper on Friday, June 24, said aside the Senate presidency, the PDP in the region wanted the development and adequate security of the southwest.
“We expect the Senate presidency to come to the southwest. But what we want mainly in the PDP here is good governance. We want the roads to be fixed, let there be provision of infrastructure and creation of state police to assist in tackling insecurity.
“Also, we want the economy to be fixed because it has been terribly damaged by the APC government. We want the Ibadan Airport to be upgraded to international standard and an inland dry port in order to decongest the sea port.
“The Ibadan – Oyo – Ogbomoso Expressway is a very strategic road and should be completed quickly. I believe Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will do all these and more if he wins the presidency. The agitations for secession by various groups will end with good governance and justice. This is what the PDP will do.”
We are negotiating for juicy slots
It also stated that in Ogun state, the party said it would negotiate for juicy slots once the party wins.
The publicity secretary of the party in the state, Bankole Akinloye, said in Abeokuta on Friday, June 24, said the state chapter would work for the success of the party at the poll before demanding its slots.
“For Ogun state PDP, what is paramount to us is the success of the party in the election. It is when a hunter kills an animal while hunting that he can start thinking of sharing the meat. What we will request for as a party will be after election.
“Definitely, we have ministerial appointments that will come to the state. We have ambassadorial appointments that would also be demanded for and several other juicy appointments.”
The situation was not different in In Ondo state as the publicity secretary, Kennedy Peretei the PDP has a tradition of balancing government and party positions among the six geopolitical zones.
He said that the national chairman of the party, president, vice-president, Senate president, speaker of the House of Representatives and Secretary to the Government of the Federation would be picked by each zone of the federation.
Peretei noted that southwest region might get the position of the speaker of the House of Representatives or the SGF or the party’s national chairman.