The political romance between Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and Wike seems to have secured the state for the Rivers State governor. He may get the votes 100%.
For Atiku Abubakar, whose political homestead is Adamawa, he is still in firm control with Governor Umaru Fintiri looking helpless to assist his new found friend, Wike.
The alternative for Fintiri is to lose his second term mandate if he sticks to Wike, who has made many shuttles to Adamawa to whittle down Atiku’s influence.
Despite the fact that Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom is a presidential aspirant, his limited first timer impact has made him susceptible to alliance or a bargain for the office of Vice President under Atiku’s presidency. When the chips are down, it was gathered that the state’s delegates may vote for Atiku whose allies are many in Akwa Ibom.
The way and manner Wike rides South-South governors roughshod had been a setback for Wike in his zone.
The atmosphere in Anambra was cloudy but Atiku and Tambuwal are now believed to be ahead of other aspirants. Apart from being a son-in-law, Atiku has had a robust political history with Anambra, having chosen Chief Ben Obi and Peter Obi from the state as running mates in 2007 and 2019 respectively.
Wike’s coordinators in the state (Chief Chris Uba and ex-Minister Stella Oduah) have not been cooperating such that none of them could boast of 10 per cent of the 21 delegates from the state.
Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed wears the toga of a beautiful bride because of the limited scope of his presidential aspiration campaign nationwide.
He controls 100 per cent of the votes in Bauchi which he could swing in favour of either Atiku or Wike.
Supporters of the Rivers State governor boasted yesterday that the state has been for him. Unknown to many, Atiku and Bala have had series of discussions in the past few weeks.
A source said the Bauchi governor was holding the ticket in trust for Wike.
Having lost some oil wells to Rivers State, most Bayelsans (with the exception of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and family) do not support the presidential aspiration of Wike.
The political mentor in the state, ex-Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, prefers Atiku to Wike who had disdain for him as a colleague. Bayelsa is certain for Atiku.
The political alliance between Governor Samuel Ortom and Wike is infectious.
Without batting an eyelid, Ortom will deliver Benue State votes to Wike.
The PDP is fizzling out in Borno, but it remains the natural habitat of presidential aspirant Hayatudeen, who is from the state. He is sure of 100% control of his state’s delegates.
Wike is firmly rooted here, having played a significant role in the election of Senator Sandy Onor as the governorship candidate of PDP in the state.
One of the key leaders in the state, ex-Governor Donald Duke, has been part of the campaign train of Wike.
With his anointed candidate as the governorship flag bearer for 2023 poll, ex-Governor Liyel Imoke has no better choice than to help Wike who has been there for Onor.
Delta has always been a safe political haven for Atiku with the influence of heavyweights like ex-Governor James Ibori.
Moved by the prospect of being a Vice President, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa may lead Delta delegates to Atiku.
Barring last minutes horse-trading, it is payback time for a former President of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim in Ebonyi State where he has worked hard to sustain the unity of the party following the exit of Governor Dave Umahi to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Anyim, who was one of the early birds in the presidential aspiration, refused to defect to APC despite juicy offers. But it is doubtful whether the glory of his Senate presidency can fetch him much goodwill this time around.
With Thursday’s judgment of the Federal High Court Abuja which affirmed the authenticity of the primaries conducted by the National Vice Chairman (South-South) of PDP, Dan Orbih in Edo State, Wike is poised to harvest all the delegates from State.
Governor Godwin Obaseki lost out. PDP has returned to original members in the state as against defectors led by Obaseki. Besides delegates, all candidates elected by Obaseki’s faction during parallel primaries cannot contest on the platform of the PDP in the 2023 polls.
Until now, Atiku and Saraki were expecting to haul the votes of delegates from Edo State on account of the face-off between Obaseki and Wike.
Most aspirants have not bothered much about Ekiti State delegates owing to the larger-than-life influence of Wike’s close ally, ex-Governor Ayo Fayose.
The votes from Ekiti State are taken for granted for Wike notwithstanding the aged political ties between the Sarakis and the influential Senator Abiodun Olujimi.
Delegates from Enugu State are strongly believed to pick between Atiku and Wike. But going by the permutations of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi bagging vice presidency, Atiku appears sure bet for the state.
Yet Ugwuanyi shares the same passion for power shift to the South with Wike.
In Gombe State, the spirit of PDP is ex-Governor Hassan Dankwambo who does not hide his preference for Wike. Had it been that Atiku’s ally, Senator Danjuma Goje returned to PDP, the calculation would have been in favour of Atiku. As it is now, Wike is having an edge among delegates in the state.
The situation is dicey in Imo State where it is a three-horse race by Tambuwal, Atiku and Wike.
A former governor of the state, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, who controls the structure of the party and most of the delegates, is a die-hard loyalist of Tambuwal.
Being a former adviser to Atiku, it is not clear if the former governor can completely distance himself from the ex-Vice President.
The election of Wike’s political soul mate, Sen. Samuel Anyanwu as the National Secretary of PDP has led to a new power outlook with about six local governments conceded to Anyanwu.
However, Ikeduru local government, where Anyanwu comes from, is being controlled by Ihedioha. Atiku also has some good friends in Imo who can earn him votes. Ihedioha’s goodwill may fetch Tambuwal a marginal lead in Imo State.
It is a straightforward race for Atiku in Jigawa State because of the staunch support of ex-Governor Sule Lamido, whose son (Mustapha Lamido) has emerged as the governorship candidate of the PDP in the state.
The Chairman of Jigawa State chapter of the PDP, Hon. Babandi Ibrahim Gumel, once said: “Atiku has no problem in Jigawa, especially that he is a friend to our leader (Lamido) and we understand that our leader has no problem with him.
“In 2019 when Atiku won election in Port Harcourt, our leader was a contestant, and immediately he gave directives to work for Atiku, we did our best.
“Jigawa State is for PDP, and we are ready to back any PDP candidate that wins the primary election and we hope that person would be Atiku.”
This looks a good terrain of the former Vice President whose associate, Isah Ashiru, has won the governorship ticket of PDP in the state.
But Saraki is pulling weight because of the alleged backing of a former National Chairman of PDP, ex-Governor Ahmed Makarfi.
Politics in Kano and Jigawa states has always been the same thread.
Atiku may still control most of Kano’s 44 delegates despite the order of Justice A.M Liman of the Federal High Court, Kano restraining the State Central Working Committee (CWC) of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP)from parading themselves as executives.
While a factional governorship candidate, Mohammed Abacha is for Wike, another governorship candidate, Sadiq Wali and his group are rooting for Atiku.
If any aspirant is more at home in Katsina State, it should be Atiku, because this is where he honed his political skill under the tutelage of the late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua.
For keeping faith with the Yar’Aduas, the people of Katsina have always identified with Atiku and today’s primaries won’t be an exception. But Wike is pulling some stunts which cannot be underrated.
Delegates from Kebbi State will be shared by Tambuwal, Atiku and Wike whose huge resources have helped him to have a strong showing in a difficult landscape.
The battle in Kogi State is restricted to Wike, Atiku and Saraki. Of the 21 delegates from the state, Wike had secured 13 as at Thursday, leaving Atiku and Saraki to scramble for the remaining eight votes.
The strategic coordination by a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) has changed the narrative for Wike in the state.
Kwara State is a total gain for Saraki, who is trying to recapture the state from the APC. Saraki, as a leader whose premium on loyalty is higher, cannot get less than 100% in his domain.
Other aspirants are onlookers in Kwara State.
Lagos is split between Wike, Saraki and Atiku. Although Saraki supported Lagos4Lagos Movement coordinator, Olajide Adediran (Jandor), who is now PDP governorship candidate in the state, Governor Seyi Makinde ensured he got the party’s ticket to secure the state for Wike.
Some top PDP leaders in Lagos like Chief Olabode George and Doherty are for Wike. Atiku is no pushover in the state with his high network. A former minister, Abimbola Ogunkelu, is coordinating for Atiku.
Saraki, who married from the Ojora Royalty in Lagos, will also make an impact.
Like a bulldozer, Wike seized the advantage of PDP’s absence from power in Nasarawa State to undercut Saraki there. Apart from producing the governorship candidate, David Ombugadu, Wike is in control of the structure of the party in the state.
In a fierce battle, Ombugadu, who is a former member of the House of Representatives, scored 247 votes to defeat Saraki’s ally, Maj-Gen. Nuhu Angbazo, who got 203.
Ombugadu is equally being supported by the party chairman in the state, Hon. Francis Orogo. The two leaders, with resources mobilized for them by Wike, are fully in control of the majority of the delegates.
The North-Central agenda of Saraki does not appear to be succeeding in Nasarawa.
Leading aspirants eyeing 25 states in Niger State are Atiku, Saraki and Wike. It has been a tug of war as the aspirants try to outwit one another overnight.
While Atiku relies on old but weighty PDP matchmakers, Saraki thinks the influence of ex-President Ibrahim Babangida may avail him some leverage in Niger State. Wike is confident of getting some votes from the state.
Babangida remains an apostle of a President of about 55 to 60 years old cap which fits Saraki, Tambuwal and Bala.
The division in Ogun State chapter of PDP which resulted in parallel primaries has also affected the delegates.
The State Chairman of PDP, Dr. Sikirulai Ogundele, is with Wike and some of the leaders, including Segun Showunmi who secured the party’s governorship slot are for Atiku.
Saraki is expected to make some inroads in the state because of perceived cultural affinity.
Likely to go Atiku’s way because of Eyitayo Jegede’s factor.
But of late, Governor Seyi Makinde, who is working for Wike, has been dictating the pace in Ondo PDP.
Saraki is stronger in Osun State as the motivator of the governorship ambition of PDP candidate, Sen. Ademola Adeleke.
But Wike, whose campaign is being coordinated by a former national officer of the PDP, Diran Odeyemi, may take about 25 to 30% bite of the votes.
Governor Seyi Makinde is the foremost campaign coordinator of Wike in the South-West. He does not hide his preference for the Rivers State governor who can easily garner 100% of the votes from Oyo delegates.
The turf in Plateau is between Saraki and Wike. Atiku may have a little showing because of some members of the old brigade. A former governor of the state, Jonah Jang, arguably the state’s kingmaker, is with Wike. But the party chairman and other leaders have remained adamant on Saraki in line with the Middle Belt agenda.
Unexpectedly, Wike has spread his tentacles to Plateau State against Atiku and Saraki.
The Rivers State Governor was named in the success of the PDP governorship candidate, Caleb Muftwang, who is a former chairman of Mangu Local Government Area.
This is indisputably Wike’s terrain. The gate is totally shut against other aspirants, no matter how hard they try to penetrate. All the delegates from Rivers State know the wages of disloyalty to Wike.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal is expecting overwhelming victory in Sokoto State against all his opponents.
Going by precedent, Atiku will win Taraba State hands down because he has won the confidence of political leaders there in the past few years.
Atiku Abubakar may put up a good outing because of the influence of a former Minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Maina Waziri, who is neck deep in campaigning for his old political acquaintance.
The presidential contenders in Zamfara are Tambuwal, Atiku and Saraki. But all the aspirants are currying the favour of a former Executive Director of First Bank, Dauda Lawal, who has won the party’s governorship mandate.
The odds may favour Wike in the Federal Capital Territory having struck the right accord with Sen. Phillip Aduda, who has been a long standing rallying point for PDP in the district. It was learnt that Wike was at a point the sole financier of the party in FCT.