The cloud of uncertainty over the zoning of the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has not fizzled out.
Two chieftains from the North – Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal – have intensified consultations with stakeholders on their presidential ambition.
A N40 million presidential nomination form purchased by a party group was yesterday presented to the former vice president in Abuja, barely 24 hours after the setting up of a zoning committee by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.
Sources said Atiku may declare his intention to run in Abuja next Tuesday.
Also, Tambuwal was said to have unfolded his ambition to state chairman at a meeting in Abuja.
The 37-zoning panel, whose membership has not been announced as expected to make recommendation on zoning formula for next year’s polls.
The proxy group, under the aegis of North East Business Forum, said members decided to purchase the form for Atiku because of their belief in his capacity and suitability for the job.
Presenting the forms to Atiku at his his Asokoro, Abuja, residence, the chairman of the Forum, Alhaji Dalhatu Funakaya said Atiku is the candidate to beat.
While applauding the group for the gesture, Atiku harped on the imperative of national unity to tackle the myriad of problems facing the country.
He said: “The challenges before us are historical; our unity threatened, economy in worst state of affairs and our security is a disaster.
“This is why there must be unity to address these challenges. The challenges before us are greater than our differences of ethnicity and religion.”
Tambuwal, who spoke with reporters after a closed door meeting with the state chairmen, Tambuwal hinted of the possibility of joining the race.
He said: “It’s about consultation on the possibility of my running for the office of the president and seeking the mandate of our party, members and leaders as flag bearer of the PDP in the 2023 presidential election.
“In terms of reaching out to the grassroots, they (state chairmen) are key and a critical mass of leadership of our party at the state level. And at that level that is very very important.
“So the interactive session with them was very wonderful, mutually beneficial and I believe that we are beginning to consolidate on our partnership on that”.
Tambuwal, who chairs the PDP Governors Forum, said the party’s chances in the 2023 general election were very bright.
He stressed the need for leaders and stakeholders in the party to unite and work as an indivisible team for PDP to emerge victorious in the election.