Stakeholders from the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have rejected what they see as an attempt to reduce the search for the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 election to a sectional affair.
It would be recalled that both former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, had emerged as the preferred candidates of the former military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida-brokered consensus arrangement, which has caused a rumpus among those who had earlier subjected themselves to the initiative.
Championsnews reports that the northern elders who met in Abuja on Monday to kick against the sectional arrangement maintained that there is nothing called the Northern PDP as claimed in the IBB arrangement, which was announced by former Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Prof. Ango Abdulahi.
Led by former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, some of the party leaders present at Monday’s meeting were former minister, Adamu Waziri, former Governors Babangida Aliyu, Boni Haruna and Ibrahim Idris; Sanusi Daggash, Dino Melaye, among others were also present.
In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, which was read by Lamido, the stakeholders affirmed that all aspirants gunning for the PDP presidential ticket are capable of being the president, urging them to continue to talk among themselves to reach a consensus.
While also urging the aspirants to be more temperate in their utterances, the leaders assured Nigerians that they are aware of their pains, prayers and desire to be rescued.
Lamido stated: “We would like to state from the onset that there is nothing called the Northern PDP. Our coming together as key stakeholders from the Northern States is only for the purpose of debunking any notion or impression which might have been created by Prof Ango Abdullahi media statement about the Northern Elders Forum having shortlisted consensus PDP presidential Candidates.
“The People’s Democratic Party as conceived by its founding fathers is and remains the foremost National Political platform wherein the Democratic aspirations of its teeming members can be actualized devoid of any sectional consideration. Our party is neither Northern nor Southern but Nigeria!
“We are happy to note that The Northern Elders Forum has through its Secretary Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed disassociated itself from Prof Ango’s media statement. They made it clear that it is Ango’s personal opinion.
“The aspirants have informed us that they are discussing among themselves. They are consulting other senior citizens in order to create a better understanding and unity among themselves. Their ultimate objective is to build a National Consensus that will produce a national candidate for the party.
“We urge them to keep up with this commendable effort.
“Our meeting today is to reinforce the press release issued on 23/4/22 by Gov. Sule Lamido. We maintain that all our Aspirants are qualified to occupy the Nigerian Presidency under the PDP banner and we shall continue to support, promote and campaign and win the Presidency by the candidate produced by our National convention scheduled for May 28th – 29th 2022.
“We appeal to all Aspirants to be more temperate in their utterances and work to promote harmony and better understanding within the PDP Family.
“We also want to assure all PDP members and indeed all Nigerians that we are aware of your pains, prayers, expectations and hope to be rescued.
“Your abiding faith in PDP shall set us free in 2023. By the Almighty’s power, we will not fail Nigeria.”