The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, concluded the sale and submission of its nomination and expression of interest forms for all elective positions ahead of the 2023 general elections.
As at the last count, 17 presidential aspirants bought the forms to contest for the presidential ticket of the party.
Our correspondent reports that the party generated N646m from the sale of the forms.
The aspirants include; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; former president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim.
Others are Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed; Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel; former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose; a United States-based medical practitioner, Nwachukwu Anakwenze and media mogul, Dele Momodu.
Also eyeing the ticket are former banker and economist, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen; a pharmacist, Sam Ohuabunwa, former Speaker of Abia House of Assembly, Cosmos Ndukwe, Charles Ugwu, Rt Hon Chikwendu Kalu as well as the only female aspirant in the race, Oliver Tareila Diana.
Based on party policy, the only female aspirant only paid for the expression of interest form which is N6m.
The race is now set for the party’s primaries slated for May 28-29.
One of the aspirants and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, met with the NWC and asked them to work for his emergence as the party’s flag bearer to replicate his outstanding performance in Akwa Ibom State.
In his response, the party chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, said PDP has the best aspirants and not the ones “who run around stadium but cannot run a railway station. Our aspirants are people who can perform.”
He added that, “Our job as National Working Committee is to prepare a level playground for you to come and play your game. I want to assure you that we are committed to most transparent and fair primaries in the history of the PDP.”
Meanwhile, a group in the party, PDP New Generation, has warned the National Working Committee (NWC) to guard against godfatherism and imposition of candidates ahead of the party primaries.
Addressing journalists during the launch of Operation Rescue Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday, Audu Mahmood, the director general of the group, said what Nigerians need is to recreate hope and make Nigeria safe and united.
He said there were serious burdens on the next government to be formed by the PDP and as such the party needs to present leaders that have the capacity not to impose candidates on it.