Ahead of the meeting of the National Caucus and National Executive Committee, NEC of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which will ratify the appointment of a new national chairman of the party, there are indications that leaders of the party have narrowed their search to about three candidates.
The top contenders for the position include Senator Saidu Kumo; former governor of old Gongola state, Ambassador Wilberforce Juta; former Political Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali and his predecessor, Ahmed Gulak; Senator Paul Wampana; Ambassador Umar Damagum; former FCT minister, Bala Mohammed, former minister of State (Power), Mohammed Wakil and deputy national publicity secretary, Abdullahi Jalo.
Several sources close to the PDP Governors Forum and leaders of the party who have been meeting over the final choice for the chairmanship, revealed that the long list of contenders have been pruned to about four candidates.
They include aging former governor of old Gongola state, Wilberforce Juta, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali, Mohammed Wakil and Bala Mohammed.
Juta is the candidate of the Adamawa PDP State Working Committee and his choice appears to have knocked out Ahmed Gulak who was out rightly rejected by PDP Governors Forum and Adamawa PDP after he unilaterally announced himself as the new chairman of the party.
According to our findings, based on his endorsement by Adamawa PDP, Juta was invited for a meeting on Monday by the chairman of the Governors Forum, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.
However, some leaders of the party are said to be kicking against the emergence of any candidate from Adamawa state as the state is presently holding some key appointments like the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF.
Another factor that is said to be working against Juta, who was in government during the Second Republic, is his age as he is said to be far from being compliant with the new trend and transformations on the political terrain.
It was also gathered that among the criteria PDP leaders are using to select the national chairman include national acceptability, capacity to rebuild the party and integrity test.
PDP leaders are said to be very meticulous in picking a candidate who will not be picked up or embarrassed by the APC-led federal government in the anti-corruption war after his emergence.
This criterion is said to be working against some of the leading contenders who may not survive the anti-corruption probe if and when the searchlight is beamed on them by the federal government.


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