The apparent refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended Electoral Act has altered political permutations in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
As it stands, without to president’s signature, the act stipulates that only 811 people will be able to elect the Presidential Candidate of the PDP as statutory delegates including the president, serving and former governors, and serving and former members of the National Assembly were excluded from voting at the national conventions.
The 811 delegates would comprise of 774 national delegates (1 Per LGA and 37 special delegates (People with disability from each of the 36 states and FCT).
The implication of the development was at the weekend reshaping permutations for the presidential candidates in the party with Senator Bukola Saraki, Governors Nyesom Wike and Aminu Tambuwal being boosted by the development.
While Saraki has been boosted by the endorsement of the North-Central zone of the PDP, Wike even though without an endorsement from the South-South, is, however, without a serious contender from the region and would be gladdened by the fact that he has a fewer number of delegates within and outside the zone to reach out to.
Tambuwal would also be gladdened by the fact that the Northwest Zone is presenting the highest number of delegates to the convention given the region’s superior number of local governments. Tambuwal’s room for manoeuvre, is however, tempered by incursions made into the zone by Wike and Saraki.
The Northwest has 186 National Delegates more than double the 95 coming from the Southeast, a region that has three major presidential aspirants, Peter Obi, Anyim Pius Anyim and entrepreneur, Pharm Sam Ohabunwa.
The development means strong consequences for the Southeast as the limited number of the national delegates available from the zone is now being split among themselves and others poaching from outside.
While Atiku looks formidable on the national scene, being the immediate past presidential candidate of the party, he has to grapple with Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi for the Northeast’s 112 national delegates.
Atiku is also being challenged by the fact that no governor is openly associating with him besides his home governor, Ahmadu Fintri who according to political insiders sees it as an obligation or rather compulsion to support the former vice-president.
While the stalemate on the Electoral Act is like a catastrophe for the Southeast as it removes the region’s advantages in statutory delegates it also at the same time present’s the region’s diminished LGAs, 95.
The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.