One hundred and twenty governorship aspirants have paid N6m each to pick the expression of interest and nomination forms of the Peoples Democratic Party, investigations by SUNDAY PUNCH have revealed.
Also, the party had sold the nomination forms to 12 presidential aspirants as of Saturday afternoon.
Each of the aspirants paid N12m each to the party to obtain its presidential nomination and expression of interest forms.
Though our correspondent was unable to get the breakdown of the governorship aspirants, state-by-state, it was however gathered that the race would be keenly contested in some states.
For example, in Kwara State, two close allies of the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, had picked the forms.
The aspirants are a former Minister of Sports, who is also a former National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, and a member of the House of Representatives, Zakari Mohammed.
A former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman, who is also from Kwara, had picked the form.
A former police officer who hails from Kwara, Mr Ibrahim Ajia, will join the three other aspirants to vie for the PDP ticket for the state.
A top source at the party secretariat said the number of the aspirants could increase before the close of nomination, which he said would be on September 11.
The source said, “As of Thursday, we had 118 aspirants. But the number has increased to 120, and we hope that it may go up a little higher before the close of nomination early this week.
“When the nomination ends, we will then publish the names because they will have to come for screening.”
The source said there were states where the battle for the party’s ticket might not be fierce.
Our correspondent gathered that Oyo might be among such states.
For example, it was gathered that Mr Seyi Makinde would likely be the sole candidate of the party for the primary.
Makinde was said to have been endorsed by the majority of the chairmen of the party in the local government areas of the state.
Also, it was learnt that states, where the party produced sitting governors, might not have serious challengers.
Meanwhile, the aspirants, who have since obtained the party’s presidential nomination forms, are the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki; Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal; Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo; and a former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark.
Also on the list are a former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Jona Jang; a former Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi; a former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso; and Dr. Datti Baba-Ahmed.
The remaining four aspirants, who have obtained the forms, are a former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar; a former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido; a former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa; and a former Minister of Special Duties and Inter Governmental Relations, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki (SAN).
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