The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is in a fix following the failure of the consensus option proposed for many states.
As at the last count, a check at the National Secretariat of the party showed that over 170 aspirants have collected the party’s governorship nomination form in at least 20 states.
Out of the 36 states, there will be no governorship primaries in Ekiti, Osun, Ondo, Anambra, and Kogi states.
It could not be immediately ascertained if the earlier nomination forms obtained by 13 aspirants in Adamawa State would still subsist or not.
But the governorship nomination crisis is worse in the South-South, South-East and South-West with high number of aspirants.
Out of the seven ministers that resigned last week, five of them are facing serious battles ahead.
The affected former ministers who are aspirants are Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu (Health); Dairus Ishaku (Minister of State for Niger Delta), Emeka Wogu (Labour and Productivity), Nyesom Wike (Minister of State for Education); Musiliu Obanikoro (Minister of State for Defence), Labaran Maku (Information), Samuel Ortom (Trade and Industry).
While Wike is facing 16 opponents in Rivers State, Wogu has to contend with seven in Abia; Maku faces opposition from Sen. Solomon Ewuga and Deputy Governor Dameshi Luka; and Ortom will slug it out with five others in Benue.
In Taraba, the battle line is drawn between Ishaku and the Acting Governor, Garba Umar and a former Director of Finance in the National Assembly.
The breakdown of the list of aspirants so far include Akwa Ibom (18); Rivers (17); Imo (16); Delta (14); Oyo (12); Adamawa (13); Kebbi (10); Niger (8); and Enugu (4).
Others are Abia (7); Zamfara (5); Kwara(6); Benue (6); Katsina(6); Oyo(12); Ogun (9); Bauchi (3); Yobe (3); Taraba (3); Plateau ( 7); Nasarawa (3) and Sokoto (2).
Findings confirmed that the increasing number of aspirants is worrying the party leadership.
It was learnt that the challenges surrounding governorship nomination in some states made the President of the Senate, Chief David Mark to intervene in Oyo State when he hosted the aspirants to a meeting in Abuja.
It was also gathered that the same development forced the National Chairman of PDP, Adamu Muazu and the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan to make separate shuttles to Rivers State to calm down frayed nerves.
A highly-placed source in the party, who spoke in confidence, said: “So far, we have over 170 aspirants seeking the governorship tickets of our party in about 20 states. The number is likely to increase in the next one week because we are expecting returns from about 11 states.
“This turn out of aspirants might look healthy for our democracy but it also shows that we have a major crisis at hand. It is getting difficult for PDP to build consensus in many states.
“The crisis at hand is compounded by the determination of most of the outgoing governors to impose their successors.
“Some ministers, who resigned last week, have also added to the challenges facing the party because they have presented themselves as “anointed” candidates of the presidency.”
A member of the NWC said: “The fact that these aspirants do not mind paying so much for nomination form indicated that we might be faced with problems in some states. Many of the aspirants are desperate.
“The party is certainly concerned because the nomination process is virtually turning into a war in some states. But the National Leader of the party, President Goodluck Jonathan, members of the Board of Trustees and the NWC will find solutions to the nomination challenges.
“We are hopeful that things will take shape and we will be able to iron out our differences.”
The president had on Sunday told PDP governors that there was nothing bad in having interest in their successors but they should put the party’s interest and survival above personal aggrandizement.
The president told the governors that since most of them are completing their two terms in office, he will be the one to work with their successors.
Jonathan said: “I cannot take chances, the PDP cannot take chances, we are interested in those who will be governors in 2015. You should not field unpopular candidates or else the party will lose.”
The president said if he and the PDP were circumspect in 2011, the ruling party would not have experienced the defection of five governors to the opposition party.
THE ASPIRANTS SO FAR
Akwa Ibom ——————–18