•Opposition Party may shut doors against defectors
•Concedes VP slot to South East •South West to produce national chair
Defectors, hoping to achieve their presidential ambition on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party( PDP) in the 2019 elections, may be in for a raw deal.
The PDP, according to top level sources, may shut its doors against presidential aspirants crossing from rival parties.
Some presidential aspirants from outside the PDP have been feeling the pulse of the party on their chances.
It was also learnt that PDP leaders are close to reaching a consensus on giving the vice presidency to the South East.
In return, the South East caucus has opted to forego any aspiration for key positions in the National Working Committee( NWC).
The only position the South East is seeking in the NWC is the National Organizing Secretary.
The office of National Chairman has been zoned to the South West,according to investigation. These secret deals are the highlights of the horse-trading that has been going on in the party over the last few weeks.
It was learnt that the PDP has been working on a formula which will re-integrate all parts of the country.
The “secret deals” seem to have been borrowed from the winning strategy of the defunct National Party of Nigeria( NPN) which ruled the country from 1979 to 1983.
A highly-placed party source told The Nation that PDP leaders “have been engaging in horse-trading in the past few weeks ahead of our next elective National Convention.
“These leaders have built some consensus on power sharing, including the shutting of our doors against defectors from other parties who are only interested in our presidential ticket.
“As an integrated party, we welcome defectors, but we may not concede an automatic presidential ticket to any of them. We want all those joining our party to learn the ropes and queue for a while.
“We believe in party discipline and supremacy; members must have faith in the party they are joining. No chance for gold diggers again.”
Responding to a question, the source said: “As part of the secret deals, it is taken for granted that the presidential ticket will go to the North. It is the candidate we are left with.
“As for the vice presidency, the consensus so far is in favour of the South East in order to address the marginalization of the Igbo. The PDP’s focus is on the unity and reintegration of this country. We want to create a sense of belonging for all.
“We have also discovered that giving the VP slot to the Igbo may solve the latest recourse to separatist agitations in the country.”
The source said “although the South South is serious in its demand for the VP slot, the fact that the geopolitical zone recently completed a five-year presidency in 2015 gives the South East an advantage.”
The source added that party leaders are also trying to “persuade the South South to have a rethink. We will skew the power formula in a manner that the zone may produce the President of the Senate and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation or other leverage appointments.
“These are some of the ongoing secret deals in order to give the APC a good fight in 2019. All the six geopolitical zones will get a fair deal.
“The formula being worked out is similar to that of the defunct NPN and a little blend of former Social Democratic Party( PDP) which won the annulled 1993 presidential poll.”
On the fate of the South West, the source added: “The zone is certainly producing the National Chairman of the party with other juicy appointments on the cards.
“It is left to the leaders of the party in the South West to present a credible choice which will lead the PDP to victory in 2019.
“The National Convention will ratify the power sharing formula in December. We are not going to leave anything to chances.”
Some stalwarts of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been rumoured to be interested in defecting to the PDP to fulfil their presidential aspiration in 2019.
Also, the fate of some PDP leaders to be either President or Vice President or National Chairman may have been subtly foreclosed.
Those allegedly jostling or pencilled down /recommended for the VP ticket in the PDP include Governor Nyesom Wike, Senate Deputy President Ike Ekweremadu, ex-Governor Donald Duke and ex-Governor Godswill Akpabio.
For the National Chairman of the party, those being touted are ex-Ondo State military governor, Chief Olabode George, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, ex-Governor Liyel Imoke and a former National Organizing Secretary of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus.
With the ongoing horse-trading, the presidential ambition of Governor Ayo Fayose appears threatened.
The source said: “Fayose’s candidacy cannot fly at all. He is only trying to enrich the selection process. To us, he is merely playing to the gallery by exercising his fundamental rights to aspire to any political office and contest.”