With about 164 days to the 2019 general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is actively working on how to put its house together and send the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) out of the presidential villa.
The recent gale of defections that hit the APC seems to have bolstered the morale of the opposition party as it prepares for the 2019 presidential election.
With about six months into the election, so many heavyweight politicians have signified interest in running for the presidency on the platform of the umbrella-wielding opposition party.
In this article, Nigeria Daily times provides a list of all the politicians who want to be the flag bearer of the PDP in the 2019 presidential election and their brief profiles.
Former vice president Atiku Abubakar is one of the prominent PDP presidential aspirants. He served as the second in command during the Obasanjo-led PDP government from 1999 to 2007.
However, in the buildup to the 2015 elections, Atiku left the PDP for the APC. He contested the APC presidential ticket but lost to President Muhammadu Buhari. With an impossible chance of getting the APC presidential ticket in the 2019 election, Atiku switched back to the PDP. Atiku stated that he has solutions to Nigeria numerous problems. He has aspired for the presidency four times, this being the fifth shot. He has since picked up his nomination and expression of interest.
Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso is a two-time governor of Kano state. Like Atiku, Kwankwaso recently defected back to the PDP after a long-running superiority battle with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje who succeeded him as the governor of Kano state. He is the leader of the popular political movement tagged Kwankwassiya movement. He officially declared his intention to run for the presidency in 2019 on the platform of the PDP in Abuja on Wednesday, August 29.
Sule Lamido, a two-time governor of Jigawa state, is another prominent member of the PDP with presidential ambition. He served as Nigeria’s foreign minister from 1999 to 2003. He was elected governor of Jigawa state in April 2007. He ran successfully for re-election on 26 April 2011. In 2015 he and his sons were put on trial for embezzling state fund by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). At 70, Lamido insists he has the qualities needed to move Nigeria forward.
Ibrahim Shekarau is a former minister of education and two-term governor of Kano state. He was elected in April 2003 and re-elected in April 2007. Ibrahim Shakarau has publicly declared his ambition to run for the president under the umbrella of the PDP. However, in a dramatic twist, reports reaching NAIJ.com has stated that Shekarau surprisingly left his presidential ambition and the PDP. There are indications that he will pitch his tent with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as one of his aides confirmed that he has met with Governor Abdullah Ganduje of Kano state to discuss his next move.
Tambuwal is the current governor of Sokoto State and former speaker of the House of Representatives. He recently defected from the APC to the PDP. He has also picked the nomination form to contest the PDP presidential primary. Tambuwal has expressed optimism that he will emerge as the flag bearer of the opposition party, adding that he has all it takes to become the president of the most populous country in Africa.
Ahmed Makarfi is a two-time governor of Kaduna state and has also spent eight years as a senator in the National Assembly. He was appointed PDP National caretaker committee at a contentious national convention held in PortHarcourt, the Rivers state capital. He handed over to Uche Secondus after a tumultuous regime characterized by a series of court cases. The ex-governor, in a report by Premium Times, said he has what it takes to govern Nigeria, after successfully governing “a complex state like Kaduna for eight years”.
Bukola Saraki is currently the Senate president of Nigeria and a two-time governor of Kwara state. The embattled Senate president earlier revealed in an interview with Bloomberg that he was considering giving a shot at the presidency. Shortly after, in a surprising move, he declared his intention to run for the presidency while delivering a keynote address at a town hall for youths and young aspirants organised by the Not Too Young To Run Movement in Abuja. The Not Too Young To Run movement has, however, distanced itself from Saraki’s declaration.
Alhaji Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa was the governor of Sokoto stat from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. At 64, Bafarawa is bent on having another shot at the presidency after a failed first attempt in 2007. He ran under the platform of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) that he formed. Bafarawa has declared that he will be running for president in 2019, this time under the PDP.
Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo is the current governor of Gombe state. Declaring his ambition, the Gombe state governor said he accepted the call of the people across the country to run next year for the top post. He said he decided to contest to “consolidate on the gains of democracy and save the country from hunger and starvation”. Dankwambo said the northeast zone was long due for the presidency, saying its last shot was the regime of late Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
Tanimu Turaki, from Kebbi state, is a former minister of special duties and inter-governmental affairs between 2013 and 2015, former supervising minister, Ministry of Labour and Productivity between 2014 and 2015, and current chairman of PDP Former Ministers’ Forum of Nigeria. Tanimu, after declaring for the presidency, stated that his knowledge, experience and dynamism stand him out from other aspirants in the party.
Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed was elected a member of House of Representatives in 2003 under the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) representing Zaria federal constituency in Kaduna state. In 2011, he defeated Ahmed Makarfi, incumbent senator and former governor of Kaduna state, for the Kaduna North senatorial seat. Baba-Ahmed boasted that he would demystify the power of incumbency and defeat President Buhari if he secures the ticket of his party.
Jonah David Jang
Jonah Jang is a former governor of Plateau state and a serving Senator of Nigeria. Submitting his letter of intent to the state chairman of the party at the party’s secretariat in Jos, Jang said it is time for the Middle Belt to rule Nigeria. Jang is facing a 12-count charge of diverting N6.3 billion alongside a former cashier in the office of the Secretary to the State Government, Yusuf Pam. They were alleged to have committed the offence while Jang was governor of the state.
Senator David Mark, a former Senate president, is reportedly poised to join other aspirants on the platform of the PDP in the race for the 2019 presidential election as he is set to get the party’s expression of interest form. James Oche, the co-coordinator of Door2Door, a support platform for Mark, confirmed the development on Monday, September 3.
Meanwhile, the PDP in an earlier report has urged the National Assembly to use their constitutional power to override President Muhammadu Buhari on the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill.