The Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party has set up a committee to liaise with all the presidential aspirants to discuss the possibility of having a consensus candidate. The BoT also warned its members against campaigning for any of the aspirants in order not to polarise the party.
The BoT Chairman, Walid Jibrin, said these decisions were taken after the meeting of the board, which was held in Abuja on Sunday night.
He also said that the tenure of the current executive had been extended for another five years.
Jibrin, who spoke with journalists on the outcome of the meeting, said, “A committee has been set up to discuss with all presidential aspirants to come up with one of them as a consensus candidate.
“The meeting advised all members to always maintain their honour and integrity as the conscience of the party to remain neutral and never sponsor or lead aspirants to visits and rallies as was done during the last convention.”
On whether the party was showing preferential treatment to old members among the presidential aspirants, he said, “We have warned the party to manage the situation of new defectors to the party well and also consider the role played by old members.”
However, some presidential aspirants of the PDP, including ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar; the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, and a former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, on Monday disagreed on the presidential ticket of the party in the 2019 elections. At separate fora on Monday, the three of them expressed readiness to go for the primary.
It’s North-Central turn to lead Nigeria – Saraki
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Saraki, during a meeting with the Benue State Working Committee of the PDP in Makurdi, insisted that it was the turn of the North-Central zone to lead the country.
The President of the Senate also stated that his presidential aspiration was driven by an obsession for justice, fairness, and respect for the rule of law.
Saraki stated, “As a geopolitical zone, we have paid our dues. It is the turn of our zone to lead Nigeria to stability. We have gone through bad times. The nation has become crises-ridden; the killings are uncalled for and the Benue valley is the worst hit. There should be justice to every citizen, regardless of geographical location.
“Democracy entails freedom or rights of the people. Our rights should not be imprisoned.”
According to him, Nigeria needs leaders who are capable of representing all interest groups, and not a section of the country.
“My presidential ambition is a collective decision borne out of a desire to salvage the disunity that we are witnessing,” he said.
Meanwhile, Saraki submitted his presidential nomination and expression of interest forms to the party in Abuja on Monday.
Saraki said that his antecedents stand him out among the other aspirants.
He said he had had the opportunity of serving as governor and that he is currently serving on the legislative side, stressing that it was important that the country had a president who could bring all parties on board.