There are indications that the coast might have become clearer for leading contender in the Saturday’s Anambra state governorship election primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for the Chairman of United Nigeria Airline, Chief Obiora Okonkwo, as five other aspirants may have reached an agreement to step down for him.
This is as just as there is intense talk with three more aspirants including a female, who are said to have placed a hard bargain may also reach a compromise before the commencement of the exercise.
One of the aspirants who is also a member of the National Assembly is said to be the first to agree to step down after a crucial meeting with party stakeholder in Awka, Anambra state capital on Thursday.
It was gathered that Intense political Horse trading continued deep into Thursday night after the party national leadership narrowed participation in the primary to automatic delegates, following the court judgments which nullified the congresses that produced the statutory as well as the three-man ad-hoc delegates.
A source at the meeting hinted that some of the aspirants who agreed to drop their ambition include those from Anambra South, who had earlier banked on demand for the zoning to the governorship slot to the South as well as the support of some statutory and ad-hoc delegates, who by judgement of court, can no longer participate in the primary.
Hope however dimmed as many of the automatic delegates are said to be averse to the idea of zoning as parochial and had insisted that the party needs a strong candidate to push through its fortunes in the election.
“I can confirm to you that some of the aspirants have agreed to step down for Chief Obiora Okonkwo. Discussion are on-going on issues of how and when they will make announcements to the supporters”, the source said.
He further hinted that many of the critical stakeholders, most of who are automatic delegates had observed that zoning was an idea of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) aimed to narrow their candidature to a particular person, adding the PDP.
Moreover, the party leadership at both the national and state level had earlier rejected the idea of zoning while insisting on a strong candidate for the election.
As at Friday, party leaders and critical are locked in marathon meetings on how to smoothen out rough edges to enable the party present a formidable and united front ahead of the November election.
The critical stakeholders are also said to be considering talks with aspirants who are currently holding elective public offices to reconsider their ambitions and focus on their current position in the interest of the party.
It was however gathered that few of the aspirants including some two who had always stayed away from critical meeting are yet to join in discussions