The first factor the committee would be considering is the need to have a candidate that is capable of defeating the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan not only at the party primaries, but also in the general elections.
The second factor is predicated on the argument that the committee must practise what it is preaching. That means that if the North is insisting on zoning at national level, they must ensure zoning within the region in choosing a candidate. This argument therefore translates to the fact that the candidate must come from that part of the North that has not produced either a president or military head of state.
By this calculation, the North-west zone has produced both President Shehu Shagari (Sokoto) and late President Umaru Yar’ Adua (Katsina) as well as three military heads of state – late General Murtala Muhammed (Kano), Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) (Katsina) and late General Sani Abacha (Kano).
Also, the North-central has produced General Yakubu Gowon (Plateau), General Ibrahim Babangida (Niger) and General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Niger). The North-east has produced the only Nigerian prime minister, Sir Tafawa Balewa. This calculation will most likely tilt the arrangement in favour of Atiku who is the only aspirant from the North-east.
There is, however, a counter-argument to the one above. The counter-argument being raised by the people from the North-west zone shows that the entire zoning argument was brought about by the fact that the people of the North-west from where late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua came have not been allowed to complete their two terms of eight years as the South-west did with President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Proponents of this argument are insisting that since Yar’Adua was using the North-west slot and he died before completing two terms, a candidate from the North-west should be allowed to complete Yar’Adua’s tenure before the other zones in the North can bid for the position.
This argument will favour Gusau, who is the only aspirant from the North-west zone.
The fourth factor is another variant of the zoning argument. It is hinged on the consideration that of all the six states that were created in the North under former military head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, when the regions were broken into states, only Kwara State which included present Kogi State, is yet to produce a president, military head of state or vice president.
This fourth factor is believed to be raised by pro-Saraki elements.
The four factors therefore based on their logicality will further compound the work of the selection committee of the northern elders.
Meanwhile, it is believed that the side where Ciroma who is the chairman of the committee and the four other members of the committees who are not aligned to any of the aspirants tilt to will clinch the endorsement. The non-aligned members of the committee are Alhaji Magaji Dambatta, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Alhaji M.D Yusufu and Alhaji Bello Kirfi.
The four other members representing each of the aspirants are Shaaba Lafiagi (Saraki); David Jemibewon (Babangida), M.Z Anka (Gusau) and Ricky Tarfa (Atiku).