The year 2015 saw lots of drastic changes in the Nigerian political space. A lot of people in prominent political positions were replaced. Even the former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan was not spared.
It is already three years after the 2015 elections and everyone is counting down towards the 2019 general elections.
In as much as every part of the anticipated general election is important, the presidential election is considered the most important as it will set the pace for the next set of achievements for every sector of Nigeria for the next four years. The tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari is not over, however, it appears that a lot of Nigerians are already fed up and are in dire need of a replacement. Well, it is not news that only the PDP has what it takes to compete with President Buhari. In the PDP at the moment are some of the biggest politicians in Nigeria, and only one of this politicians will get the slot to run for the office of the president on the platform of the PDP.
This article focuses on some of the most likely names that will become the flag bearer of the PDP in the 2019 presidential elections. Let’s get to know them and also find out what their chances are.
First on this list is former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Until recently, Atiku Abubakar was considered the most influential presidential aspirant in Nigeria and also from the People’s Democratic Party. Well, at the moment, the same cannot be said of the politician and business mogul. Atiku Abubakar is perhaps the only person on this list that has had his eyes on the highest position in Nigeria for over a decade.
As the former vice president of Nigeria, a lot of political analysts assume that Atiku Abubakar was naturally going to move from the post of the vice president of the federal republic of Nigeria to the position of the president. Well, rather unfortunately, it has been over 12 years and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is yet to become the number citizen of Nigeria.
In the Bid to become president, Atiku Abubakar has had to leave the People’s Democratic Party, a political party which he played a very key role in forming for the APC and then back to the PDP when it appeared like the grass was not greener on the other side.
As a member of the opposition party, Atiku has always countered the ruling party for not offering the change which it promised the people. Although there is no guarantee that Atiku will become president, it appears this is his best, as well as last chance at becoming the number one citizen of Nigeria.
Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose is presently the governor of Ekiti state and the most outspoken member of the People’s Democratic Party in Nigeria. He is also the chairman of the PDP Governor’s forum and has made his intention to run for the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Although Fayose made his intention to run for president known in September last year, he has been on a low. This is due to the Zoning formula which is made use of in the People’s Democratic Party.
As it stands, Ayodele Fayose might have all that is required to defeat incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in a free and fair presidential election, regardless, he just might have to settle for the position of the vice president of Nigeria. Whilst it is already confirmed that the position of president is not attainable because of zoning, the post of Vice President also will not come very easy as Fayose will have some political power houses from the South- East such as former Governor Peter Obi, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and a lot others to contend with.
Donald Duke is the former governor of Nigeria’s most beautiful state- Cross River State. Although Donald Duke is not from the five Igbo-speaking states in Nigeria, he is the closest thing to a presidential candidate since the 2015 presidential election which was lost by former President Goodluck Jonathan. The implication of this is; there is a very huge likelihood that Donald Duke will enjoy massive support from the South- East, South- South, and probably a section of the Middle-Belt.
Although Donald Duke still claims to be a part of the People’s Democratic Party, a party on whose platform he became governor of Cross River State in 1999, there are rumours that he is not running for the post of the president of Nigeria on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. This is most likely as a result of his association with former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM). Well, sometime in April, Donald Duke maintained that he is still a part of the PDP.
Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo
Unlike Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who is quite a household name in Nigeria and is known by Nigerians of different generations because of how long he has been around the Nigerian Political scene, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo is only very well known to residents of Gombe state. Apart from the residents of Gombe state, a state in which Ibrahim Dankambo is governor, the other set of people that are aware of the existence of Dankwambo in the Nigerian political scene are political enthusiasts.
Currently, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo is the governor of Gombe state. He is currently enjoying his second spell as governor and is believed to enjoy a good will among his people. In as much as the goodwill which Governor Dankwambo enjoys among his people is a good thing, that is not all the advantage that Dankwambo has. Dankwambo is also being supported by members of the PDP’s governors’ forum and has a lot of years to make minor political mistakes and still recover.
Dankwambo is the most prominent figure from the North- East that is running for president of Nigeria. As a result of this, his chances of becoming president can be said to be quite high.
You do not need to be a devoted political analyst to be familiar with the name Ahmed Makarfi. Although Ahmed Makarfi came into political limelight after he became the governor of Kaduna state, a position which he occupied for eight years, he became a truly popular name among lovers of politics when he was the Chairperson of the People’s Democratic Party National Caretaker Committee. Although Ahmed Makarfi had to leave this post quite unceremoniously, it did not in any way deter him from having his eyes on the highest position in the land.
Well, a couple of weeks ago, Makarfi made it known to members of the People’s Democratic Party, as well as everyone that cared that he will be running for the post of the president of Nigeria in the 2019 general elections. Although Ahmed Makarfi is not exactly as popular as some other people of this list, the truth remains that he has the experience to both make his way to Aso Rock and perform above expectations when he gets there. Already Makarfi has quite a good record as a former governor and senator. This, is believed will go a long way in influencing his presidential ambition.
Malam Ibrahim Shekarau
Malam Ibrahim Shekarau is also another PDP faithful that has played a very important role in ensuring the continued existence of the People’s Democratic Party. Malam Shekarau is one of the three people that have written officially to the People’s Democratic Party, stating their intentions to be the flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party in the general elections which are expected to take place in 2019.
Malam Ibrahim Shekarau is a former governor of Kano state and is considered by members of the PDP as one of the most serious members of the People’s Democratic Party that is interested in ensuring that the All Progressive Congress is kicked out of Aso Rock come 2019.
Shekarau is considered by lots of PDP members to be one of the most influential people in the party, and he intends to make use of this perceived influence in ensuring every member of the People’s Democratic Party that is interested in picking up a presidential form is free to do so. These are his words. “As far as I am concerned, the issue of contest on the platform of the PDP is a level playing for everybody. Each and every member is free to test his popularity and political weight when the time comes”.
David Mark is the former Senate President of Nigeria and one of the most powerful loyalists in the People’s Democratic Party. The Benue-state born politician has not really said much about running for president. However, it is believed by lots of people around the former senate president that he might just have an eye on the biggest office in the land.
David Mark certainly has the popularity among his people and this definitely counts for a lot in the game of politics. In spite of the fact that David Mark is considered famous among his people, he weight will be truly put to test if he has to contest for a spot with the other political heavy eights on this list.
Sule Lamido is considered to be one of the most prominent people in the People’s Democratic Party. He alongside Atiku Abubakar are some of the founding fathers of the PDP that are running for the post of president on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. However, unlike Atiku Abubakar, Sule Lamido never left the People’s Democratic Party while it was being rocked by crises.
Sule Lamido is the former governor of Jigawa state. Although his is no longer in a direct position of power, he has made it known that he wants to run for the post of President on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. Now, Sule Lamido might not be the most popular presidential candidate that is hoping to run on the platform of the PDP, he has a very strong followership in his home state of Jigawa, and this is believed will go a long way in boosting his presidential ambition.
Kabiru Taminu Turaki
Kabiru Taminu Turaki is a PDP faithful that certainly deserves the slot to be the flag bearer for the People’s Democratic Party in the 2019 elections. He is a former Minister of Special Duties. That is not all about Kabiru Taminu Turaki. He was also the chairman of the Former Ministers’ Forum while the People’s Democratic Party was rocked by intense crises. Unlike a lot of PDP members that left the party for the All Progressive Congress during the nation-wide PDP crises, Kabiru Taminu Turaki stayed back and helped solve the many problems that the People’s Democratic Party was faced with. While Ahmed Makarfi was in charge of the People’s Democratic Party, one of the people that were known to stay loyal to him was Kabiru Taminu Turaki. Well, the fact that Turaki was loyal to Ahmed Makarfi does not, however, in anyway imply that he will avoid running for an the highest office in the land even if Ahmed Makarfi has clearly stated his interest in being the flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party in the highly anticipated 2019 general elections.
If the yardstick for picking a flag bearer for the PDP was loyalty, Kabiru Taminu Turaki will most likely be picked above other presidential aspirants that intend making use of the PDP platform. Well, unfortunately for Kabiru Taminu Turaki, politic does not work that way.
Although it is common knowledge that it takes a lot of optimism for anyone to attempt to run for the post of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a higher degree of courage is even needed to run against an incumbent president. In as much as Datti Baba-Ahmed is not the only politician that is interested in becoming the president of Nigeria, it really does appear like Datti Baba-Ahmed is the most optimistic of all the presidential aspirants for the 2019 general election. According to Datti Baba-Ahmed, his time has come to handle the affairs of the nation, and he has the right skill, education, and agility to get Nigeria back on its feet.
The senator who is very popular for his “fix Nigeria” slogan is gradually gathering momentum. Although not the favorite candidate to unseat the incumbent president, Datti Baba-Ahmed definitely stands a very huge chance of becoming the president of Nigeria. The presence of Datti Baba-Ahmed’s face on banners, billboards, flyers, and newspapers will go a long way in getting him very popular among those that never knew him prior to now.