PDP: Peter Obi’s Exit and the South-East

Although a source close to one of the aspirants claimed last night that the voting “algorithms change by the minute”, investigation by The Nation indicated that the race was neck and neck between Atiku and Wike. Saraki may come third if the equation at press time this morning remains unchanged before voting.

Other aspirants, findings showed, were struggling within their political territories.

An insider said: “The controversies that led to the sack of the erstwhile National Working Committee of the party, the installation of new national officials for the party led by Senator Iyorchia Ayu and the ratification of the Governor Samuel Ortom-led committee on zoning of elective national offices have defined the outlook of the convention that is holding today.

“In all, 17 persons purchased the nomination and expression of interest forms in the PDP. Of that figure, two were disqualified by the David Mark led screening committee, while another aspirant and former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, opted out of the race.

“In effect, there are 14 aspirants contesting the ticket of the PDP today and, barring all odds, one of them will be announced winner at the end of the convention.

“Against all previous projections, the race for the PDP presidential ticket is essentially a two-horse race. As delegates and party leaders arrive in Abuja ahead of the convention, it becomes more obvious that the election is going to be a contest between former Vice President and the immediate past presidential candidate of the PDP Atiku and Wike.

“Between them, however, Atiku may have the upper hand. Other aspirants that are poised to pull surprises at the convention include Saraki and Tambuwal.”

EXIT OF PETER OBIFindings confirmed that the exit of Obi from the race has left the South-East open with Atiku and Wike slugging it out as the top contenders in the zone.

It was learnt that Wike’s campaign in the South-East was a “deliberate move to gain from Obi’s exit.”But it was gathered that till Obi left PDP, he maintained a ‘cozy’ relationship with Atiku.

Another source said: “Wike has openly declared war on the Igbo race. There was a thinking before Obi exited the race that Igbo delegates would vote for him en masse. But for reasons best known to him, he has left the race and we are left with no other choice than to listen to aspirants from the North. I mean I will prefer someone like Atiku over southerners like Wike or Anyim (former Senate President from Ebonyi State).”

The Nation

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