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Obasanjo's Party to Choose Presidential Candidate Saturday

Nigeria’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party holds its primary tomorrow, Saturday in Abuja to choose its standard bearer for next year’s presidential elections. Journalist Joi Idam is the Abuja bureau chief for the service newspaper based in Port Harcourt. She’s also assistant secretary of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. She said the PDP might have already decided on its candidate.

“From the grapevine, we are told that the Saturday primary will most likely favor the Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Umaru Yar'Adua, the younger brother of late General Musa Yar’Adua. And this is because the powers that be in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, the PDP, are favoring him. Even the incumbent president is also favorably disposed to handing over power to him,” she said.

Nigerians from the country’s South have been arguing for a southern candidate because of what they have called decades of exploitation and marginalization by successive governments. Idam said the likely nominee is from the north.

“The governor is from Katsina State, northern Nigeria. He’s not from the South-South region. They are giving him this because they did not claim it’s their turn to have power that since power has been in the South for eight years, that it is their turn to have it again,” Idam said.

She said Nigeria’s embattled Vice President, Atiku Abubakar who has been rejected by the PDP, is likely to be declaring his candidacy Friday.

“Vice President Atiku is still running under the Action Congress [party]. In fact, I understand that he might be declaring today, Friday, in Lagos, and then he’s also scheduled to address the South-South people in Bayelsa State,” Idam said.

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