By Wilfred Eya
The increasing number of northerners on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) showing interests in the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari has thrown confusion into the camps of Southern aspirants.
A highly placed member of the ruling party from the South told Daily Sun that many stakeholders from the South were particularly worried because of reports that Northern aspirants were being encouraged to join the race by President Buhari.
He said aspirants from the South were in a dilemma as their chances were becoming slimmer by the day with the overt interest of aspirants from the North. Before now, all the APC presidential aspirants, apart from the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello were from the South. But at the last count, Northerners aspiring to succeed Buhari on the APC platform include Governor Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State, former governor of Zamfara State, Senator Sani Yerima, Gbenga Olawapo-Hashim and Dr. Ibrahim Bello Dauda.
Although APC was initially interested in zoning its presidential ticket to the South, our source said the party leaders are carefully monitoring the possible outcome of PDP’s presidential primary scheduled for May 28 and 29.
He said some Southern aspirants who had made incursions and built bridges with power brokers from the North were increasingly getting worried that the new interests by some Northerners would substantially weaken their foothold on possible delegates from the region.
It was learnt that some of the Southern aspirants are faced with the only option of going into alliances to be able to compete favourably with their Northern opponents.
He told Daily Sun that the anxiety among the Southern aspirants is understandable as the North has more delegates out of the 7800 that would participate at the coming convention, hence would determine who picks the ticket of the party at the end.
In the Northwest, he said, there are 1,924 delegates, followed by Southwest with 1,568 delegates, North central with 1,278 delegates, North East 1, 212, South East 838 and South south with 927.