By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- Ahead of the 2019 Presidential elections, there are indications that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has concluded plans to cut down the number of its Presidential aspirants before the primary election.
The plan, our correspondent gathered, is aimed at preventing unnecessary dissipation of energy by supporters and members of the PDP as well as nipping in the bud, possible fragmentations within the ranks of the party.
Although the leadership of the party has continuously reiterated its commitment to fairness and justice, the current move is being orchestrated with the active cooperation of some of the aspirants.
A highly-placed party source told this medium in confidence that those that have been told to drop their ambitions would be “compensated in one way or the other,” adding that what is of utmost importance is victory at the polls for the party.
“The number of Presidential aspirants keep increasing by the day and this is a bit worrisome for us as a party. Yes, all those that have indicated interest in the ticket are eminently qualified but we must be realistic that this is not the time to have our house unnecessarily divided.
“It is very easy to say all of them should battle it out at the Convention to choose the Presidential candidate. There is a need to cut down the numbers whether we like it or not, these people (aspirants) are already leaders in their own right.
“So whether they emerge the candidate or not, they have paid their dues. The party has made steady progress in this regard and I believe it will turn out a win-win situation for all of us,” he said.
Beyond the need for an efficient conduct of the Presidential primaries, our source added that the leadership of the party is also mindful of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with 37 other political parties a few week ago.
According to him, these parties would have their say in the processes leading to the emergence of the candidate as all 38 signatories and members of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) agreed to field a joint Presidential candidate to confront the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 polls.
“Let us not forget that the PDP is irrevocably committed to the formation of a government of national unity. What that means is that while our members can aspire to govern this nation at the highest level, we are also mindful of other members of this grand coalition whose input would be vital,” he added.
This recent move, Vanguard learnt, is not unconnected with the recent return to the party of Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Sokoto state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, both of whom are reportedly nursing Presidential ambition in 2019.
Although the identity of those that has been told to drop their ambitions is a closely guided secret, our source disclosed that aspirants with solid campaign structures and nationwide spread are primed to make it to the convention.