Amidst zoning controversy, PDP set to decide Mark, Makarfi, Ayu’s fate

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Former President of the Senate, David Mark, former governor of Kaduna state, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Deputy National Chairman North, Senator Suleiman Nazif and others aspiring for the National Chairman of the party will know their fate today as the Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri’s 20-man committee meet pick a consensus candidate.

Also, a former President of the Senate, Iyocha Ayu, has become the latest enterant into the race with reports that he is all out to spill the beans if his kinsman, David Mark takes off the shine.

No aspirant for the position of national chairman has purchased the form, even though the party commenced the sale of nomination forms and expression of interest forms for the national offices Monday, October 11 as nominations close Friday, October 15. Saturday, October 16 is slated for the submission of purchased forms.

Recall that, the Chairman of PDP Zoning Committee, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state last week, recommended that “consequently, the current offices being held by officers in the Southern Zones of the country, namely, South West, South East and South-South zones, should swap places with the offices currently in the northern zones of Nigeria, namely, North West, North East and North Central zones.

By implication, the position of party National Chairman is now for the North to grab.

Consequently, the northern PDP stakeholders set up a committee chaired by Fintiri. The 20-man committee comprises all the serving PDP governors in the North and others.

Blueprint exclusively gathered that the committee is charged with the responsibility of “coming up with credible northerners for PDP national Chairman, consensus if possible and deliver the candidate at the convention slated for 30th and 31st October.

A source who does not want his name mentioned in print told Blueprint that “the last time the committee met they look at how they can have just a few, like three credible people to aspire for the position of PDP National Chairman. While they were discussing, 3 names came up. That is former Senate President, Senator David Mark, former Kaduna State Governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Nazif”.

Another source who is a member of the party and a national stakeholder confirmed that ” they met last week and they will meet today (Tuesday). But I don’t know if the meeting will produce a consensus candidate. Those who want to contest for President in 2023 will not want a candidate from their geo-political zone to become the Northern stakeholders’ consensus candidate. So at the end of the day, we may have credible candidates for delegates to elect from and not consensus candidate.”

Our correspondent observed that while the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar does not want Mark to emerge as the party’s chairman, because he won’t be easy to bend and influence, the 2019 Presidential candidate has thrown his weight behind the former Kaduna state governor, Senator Makarfi.