2023 Presidential Elections: How True Is It?

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Many Nigerians are now shifting their attention to the issue of who will become the next President of the country in 2023 when the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari will leave office.

In line with this, talks about who would emerge the presidential candidates of various political parties are also dominating political discuss. Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State decided to speak on the issue of 2023 presidency. Wike revealed that one issue will give his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, a serious challenge. According to him, that issue is how to choose a presidential candidate for the party. In his word, Wike disclosed that selecting the PDP presidential candidate will be turbulent.

But, how true is this position taken by Wike? Going by the way the PDP National convention went last month, some people may not agree that the selection of PDP presidential candidate would be turbulent like Wike said. This is because the convention was peaceful and successful as most top party leaders emerged through consensus. But, Wike is an insider and a top influencer in the PDP. Before even saying that, he must have seen some signs that made him to take that stand. There are some points that seem to support Wike’s position based on political developments in PDP and calculations ahead of 2023 presidential election.

Ahead of the PDP national convention, the issue of where the National Chairman would come from raised controversy. Top Politicians from the South wanted it to go to the North so that the presidential ticket would come to the South according to PDP long standing tradition. It caused some dissentions among the critical stakeholders. How was it settled? The post of the National Chairman eventually went to the North on the condition that Northern politicians can also contest for President in2023. Politicians like former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal and others are positioning for the PDP presidential ticket.

But, will the same North which has produced former Senate President Iyorchia Ayu (Benue State) still get the PDP’s presidential ticket at the expense of South? That is dicey and maybe hard for the Southern bloc in the party to accept. What will the PDP do to balance the equations ahead of 2023? Time will tell. Curiously, more Northern PDP bigwigs are showing interest in becoming President while the Southern counterparts are yet to declare their ambitions.

Will PDP still allow a Northern politician to get the presidential ticket at a time when many Nigerians are demanding for power shift to the South after Ayu emerged the National Chairman of the party? President Buhari from the North would be completing his second term in 2023 and many people expect that power should go to the South. It may affect the PDP if the party goes against this popular demand for power shift to South.

Finally, Wike emphasized that he would only support a strong PDP aspirant who is ready to face the challenges ahead and help PDP to win. He maintained that he would not back someone who wants to contest just to bear the title former presidential candidate. Who is that influential politician from the South that has declared for the post who Wike and others can back for the post or will they have no option than to back a Northerner against all odds?

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