The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has opposed the endorsement of David Mark, former Senate President, as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Ahead of the party’s elective convention scheduled for 30/31 October, some stakeholders, including the PDP-Governors Forum and the Board of Trustees, have thrown their weight behind Mark as chairman. However, Abubakar and Saraki seek a candidate from the North West.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, supports former Senate President Iyorchia Ayu for the chairmanship race.
A source who spoke anonymously while chatting with newsmen said, “Politics is about personal or collective interests.
“It is public knowledge that both Atiku and Saraki have Presidential ambitions. A David Mark emerging as National Chairman is likely to alter their calculations.
“For Atiku, Mark is seen as too strong-willed and will be uncompromising. For Saraki, a Mark coming from the same north-central zone may not work in his favour because it will mean the remaining two zones, the North East and the North West, will be the only ones in contention for the Presidential ticket.
“They had both worked hard to make the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuayi-led zoning committee throw open the chairmanship position in their recommendations, but it didn’t quite work out.
“What Mark has going for him is apart from his personal attributes have led the Senate without any major rancour for eight straight years, he has remained with the party since inception.”
On his part, Atiku’s Media Adviser, Mazi Paul Ibe, said, “Everybody knows the Waziri Adamawa is a committed democrat and will, as always, respect the sanctity of the ballot.
“The position was zoned to the north, and no individual can determine who becomes chairman; it will require a consensus among party members from the zone.
“The former Vice President as an experienced democrat remains committed ensuring that the party gets the best person to lead the party to victory.”
Also, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Benue State, Nathaniel Ikyur, said, “His Excellency, the Governor of Benue State, is a team player, he is working with his colleague governors and other party stakeholders to ensure that the best man for the job gets it.
“He, like all loyal party members wants a national chairman who can lead the party to victory. If Benue State gets the privilege to provide this leadership, our party and Nigeria will be the better for it.”