The search for the next national chairman of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) remains open as the three geo-political zones in the North intensify effort to outwit one another for the plum office.
Though the race is no longer rowdy as it was once expected following North Central adoption of former Senate President, Iyorchia Ayu, the various interest camps in the North-West are soliciting support for the duo of Ahmed Makarfi and Ibrahim Shema, ex-governors of Kaduna and Katsina states respectively.
While former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Adamawa state governor, Ahmadu Fintiri and the Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed prefer Makarfi, their Sokoto and Rivers state counterparts, Aminu Tambuwal and Nysom Wike see Shema as the kind of leader the party needs at the helms of affairs ahead of a major test of its popularity and acceptance by Nigerians in the 2023 general elections.
Atiku is said to be very impressed with the manner Makarfi steered the wheel of the party as chairman of the caretaker committee which birthed the outgoing National Working Committee (NWC) in 2017.
Similarly, his easy-going disposition and work ethic, it was gathered, has wooed a good number of party leaders to his camp in the past few days.
Although, Governor Wike has tremendous respect for Makarfi, the latter’s closeness to Atiku who is nursing a Presidential ambition in 2023 is believed to have swayed his support in favour of Shema.
So far, Shema is the leading choice of the North-West but that has not stopped supporters of Makarfi for advancing their own cause.