#YNaija2023: Meet the PDP candidates who have big dreams for Nigeria

Nigeria’s opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has, in its tunnel, some interesting candidates. Some have contested for the presidency before, some are governors, and there’s a young man among them. 

As with other parties, the zoning issue lingers and the country does not yet know if the South-East will have exclusive rights to the party’s ticket or not. But, one thing we know: There are candidates from both North and South that have the presidential nomination form in their hands now. 

They are: 

  1. Hon. Dr. Ugochukwu Williams
  2. Atiku Abubakar
  3. Bala Mohammed
  4. Peter Obi 
  5. Nyesom Wike
  6. Anyim Pius Anyim
  7. Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa
  8. Udom Emmanuel 
  9. Bukola Saraki
  10. Aminu Tambuwal
  11. Nwachukwu Anakwenze
  12. Muhammad Hayatudeen
  13. Ayodele Fayose

Hon. Dr. Ugochukwu Williams

Dr Ugochukwu Williams was on a consultation visit at the Presidential Library, Abeokuta, when the former President Olusegun Obasanjo had in Abeokuta, Ogu, decried the intractable insecurity crisis in the country, saying that the security challenges have become more overwhelming in Nigeria. The presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was there with his team. 

Dr Williams had briefed the former President of his presidential aspiration for the 2023 general elections, adding that he was in Abeokuta to seek the wise counsel of Obasanjo to guide his electioneering campaign for the PDP presidential ticket in the preparations for the general elections. He described Obasanjo as a leader who is passionate about the peace and unity of Nigeria. The young presidential aspirant said he was on a mission to “rescue Nigeria”.

In case you missed it: YNaija2023: The series leading up to the general elections, starting from ‘Top to Bottom’

Atiku Abubakar

The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, formally declared to run for the office of the Nigerian president in 2023 under the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on March 23. Atiku, who made the declaration at an elaborate event at the International Conference Center (ICC), in Abuja, also vowed to hand over, at the end of his tenure, to the younger generation.

Atiku said he intends to focus on five key areas: the unity of Nigeria, security, economy, education and devolving more resources and powers to the federating units. 

“All Nigerians are equal and should be seen and treated equally. There is no unity without justice and fairness. That is why I will deliver leadership of justice and fairness,” he said.

Bala Mohammed

In July 2021, Bauchi governor, Bala Mohammed declared that he had gotten the approval of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to run for president in the 2023 election.

The governor made the declaration when a coalition of groups including the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), National Union of Bauchi State Students (NUBASS), Bauchi State Traders and Artisans Association and Association of Achaba and Keke NAPEPS visited him at Bauchi Government House to present their letter of endorsement to him.

In February 2022, the governor visited former President Goodluck Jonathan, writing in a post on Facebook, “Today, I was received by former President Dr Goodkuck Ebele Jonathan at his Abuja residence. I went to inform him of my aspiration to run for the office of President in the forthcoming election. He expressed extreme confidence in my ability to actualise the aspiration of Nigerians through exemplary leadership, considering my tremendous achievements as FCT minister and now as governor.”

Peter Obi

On March 24, the former governor of Anambra, Peter Obi, declared interest to contest for 2023 presidential race. Obi disclosed this after he met with Anambra Traditional rulers. 

“After a careful study of the country, I noticed that we’re too divided and I promise to lead a united and secure Nigeria to be able to attract foreign investments. The Nigeria I will lead will create jobs, boost our economy, and improve education. If I have the opportunity, I will turn around the country for the better,” he said.

Continuing, the former governor added, “I will move Nigeria from a consuming nation to a producing nation. As a Nigerian, I want all parts of the country to be secured. I’m not aspiring for a political position, but to serve the country.”

Nyesom Wike

The Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, declared his interest to contest for the 2023 presidential elections in Nigeria, stating that he is ready to take power from APC because he has the capacity to fight the ruling party.

Wike disclosed this while in Makurdi a day after the conclusion of the ruling party’s national convention.

The Governor declared, “It is obvious I am going to run for the presidency of this country. I am declaring for the first time in Benue because of my special relationship with them. People are not suspecting, but let it be known today that I am announcing it in Benue because I have a special relationship with this state.”

“We must take this power, ‘them (APC) no dey dash am’, power is taken. I am ready to take it for PDP. I have come out and I am going to take this power from APC back to PDP by the grace of God,” he added.

Anyim Pius Anyim

Former President of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim, declared interest in the presidency and used the opportunity to appeal to all political parties in Nigeria to “take the fair, just and equitable decision of zoning their presidential slots to the South, particularly the South-east region.

Speaking at a South-East briefing and consultation session in Enugu recently, Anyim stated “I have been privileged to understand our national problems and appreciate their enormity and peculiarities in the last twenty-one (21) years from my vantage positions in both the legislative and executive arms of government; therefore, I have a clear view of the task ahead as well as the solutions needed to advance the cause of our country.”

Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa

President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa declared to contest for the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the 2023 Presidential election saying the time has come for an Igbo man to become the President of Nigeria against the backdrop that the South-East geo-political zone of the country has suffered the highest level of injustice and discrimination in Nigeria,  promising to re-write the story of Nigeria, with a vow to make appointments on the basis of geo-political zones of the country as against the present lopsided appointments and provision of infrastructure across the country.

“We want a nation where law and order will reign supreme, where lives will be sacrosanct, where private endeavour will be courted, where the average Nigerian will have easy access to quality education (through scholarships, bursaries, and student loans), affordable healthcare (through universal health insurance), housing supported by mortgage and where technology will drive service delivery,” Mazi Ohuabunwa said. 

Udom Emmanuel

On March 30, the Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel, joined the race for the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential ticket ahead of the forthcoming elections. Udom’s ₦40 million expression of interest and nomination forms were obtained at the Party’s National Secretariat by a group, the Brekete Family, that said the Governor would turn around the fortunes of the country for good if elected President.

The group’s leader, Innocent Orji, who spoke on its behalf, said, “Today is a new dawn in our country Nigeria because for the very first time in the history of Nigeria, this is the only time a group of people came together and said, change must take place come 2023. 

“The Ordinary President, Dr Ahmed Isa, and the founder of the Brekete Family Radio and Television came out to say to the world that change must start come 2023. The change will start with us this time around. We the Brekete Family globally will purchase 10 Presidential nomination forms.

“Each person that wants to participate must have outstanding antecedents and we must purchase the form. We are starting from this particular person today. That’s why we purchased one today for the person of Dr Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom state. This is just the starting point.”

Bukola Saraki

The former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, declared his intention to run for president in 2023 on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), through a Facebook post, in reaction to his followers on social media who have been asking him to make his position known.

In his four-paragraph declaration statement, the former lawmaker and a two-term governor of Kwara said he has a “strong record of delivering and experience in making tough decisions.”

“Let’s build a new Nigeria that works for EVERYONE! #GrowNigeria,” Saraki said.

Aminu Tambuwal

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto declared his intention to run for the office of President in 2023 in January after a meeting in Sokoto. While calling for unity among party members ahead of the general elections, Governor Tambuwal noted that the PDP remains the hope of Nigerians.

He said the PDP is ready to take over power from the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Speaking at the declaration, Tambuwal said he is not only well prepared but also ready to fix the numerous problem of the country as President of Nigeria.

Nwachukwu Anakwenze

President of the Diaspora Igbo group, the Igbo World Assembly, (IWA), Nwachukwu Anakwenze, who is also the traditional Prime Minister of Abagana Town Union, said he would focus on youth and women’s capacity development and hands-on empowerment to harness our natural resources for the benefit of all Nigerians if nominated to run for Presidency.

“I will create jobs and utilise all the God-given endowment for the good of Nigeria and Africa, develop a world-standard education and healthcare at home with access, implement restructuring, regionalisation and devolution of powers expressed in a new Nigerian constitution.

“I will recognise agriculture as a  key to sustainable growth and development. As President, I will revive and revitalise the agricultural sector as source of food for the teeming population of Nigerians as a major export and foreign exchange earner and the primary source of industrial raw materials”, he said.

Muhammad Hayatudeen

Foremost Nigerian banker and economist, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen declared his intention to contest the presidency in the 2023 general election in March.

He pledged to provide uncommon leadership for the Nigerian state with clarity, conviction and dynamism.

During his expression of interest which took place yesterday in Lagos, Hayatu-Deen, who addressed journalists alongside his team, said he was vying for the highest office in the land on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because presently, no one needs to be convinced that the system in Nigeria was broken.

Ayodele Fayose

The former governor of Ekiti, Ayo Fayose, announced his intention to join the presidential race via a statement released on Thursday, March 31, 2022.

Titled, ‘Fayose debunks endorsement,’ Fayose used the opportunity to debunk claims that he endorsed Peter Obi’s bid for the presidency.

Fayode noted that he respects the aspiration of the former Anambra governor as a leader, but distanced himself from any endorsement.

He maintained that his agitation has always been to see the presidency zoned to the Southern part of the country.

“Rather, my take is that the presidency is zoned to the Southern part of Nigeria.

“May I also state clearly that I will be seeking the ticket of the PDP to contest the next presidential election.”

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