Despite losing the presidential ticket to Atiku Abubakar during the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the weekend, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state, Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe state and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso will have the chance to return to elective offices as the party plans to provide their tickets.
The PDP has an arrangement in place to give Saraki, Kwankwaso and Dankwambo senatorial tickets while Tambuwal will vie for the Sokoto state governorship seat as the party’s candidate.
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A top PDP source, which did not want to be named, confided in the Nigerian Tribune on Sunday that talks were already on to implement this initiative which had indeed been on the card well before the national convention.
It was gathered that party members presently holding on to the tickets for the various positions would be made to surrender them to the former presidential aspirants to enable them to contest for the posts.
The party source informed that such people were already aware that they were holding the tickets in trust for former presidential aspirants as they had been well briefed before the convention.
The idea, the source said, was to ensure that the former aspirants were able to return to office should they fail to clinch the presidential ticket just as it happened on Sunday.
Their names are now expected to be submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rather than those of the people who emerged winners in the party primaries.
Even though they lost the presidential ticker to the former Vice President, all four men have resolved to remain in the PDP and worked for its success in the 2019 general election.
Meanwhile, baring any last minute alteration, the position of the presidential running mate of the PDP has been zoned to the South East.
In the same way, the Nigerian Tribune learnt, the party has agreed that the South West will produce the Speaker of the House of Representatives if it assumes power next year.
This comes as the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) will this week, begin the process of getting a consensus presidential candidate from among those who have clinched their party’s tickets under the political parties that make up the coalition.
CUPP is the umbrella body of about 40 opposition political parties.
According to a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, 1st National Spokesman of CUPP, with the completion of the party primaries, the collation will now focus on producing a consensus presidential candidate as outlined in its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The statement said: “The end of the primary process of the individual parties today marks the beginning of the main work of the CUPP which is to select a consensus candidate from the over 15 Presidential candidates that have emerged from parties that are members of the cupp grand alliance.
“The process that will lead to the emergence of the Grand coalition candidate of the CUPP will start in earnest this week.
“Sending the incompetent President Buhari led APC government to the political dustbin of landslide electoral defeat is a task that Nigerians are eagerly waiting to accomplish with the CUPP come 2019.”