•Declare opposition party neither North nor South, but Nigeria
• Tambuwal is a sore loser, says Obisesan
Leaders of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from the 19 northern states met in Abuja yesterday and decided that the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 general election would be determined by the national convention of the May 29 from the PDP. Northern PDP leaders, who have said the opposition party is neither north nor south but a political group for all Nigerians, have called on citizens to stop hyping up the regime with divisive arguments .
They were reacting to a recent statement by Professor Ango Abdullahi, also a former northern politician, that the region had chosen former Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki and Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed as northern consensus candidates for the PDP ahead of the 2023 Poll.
But the Nigerian group’s co-organizer, Alexander Obisesan, alleged in a statement yesterday that having pledged his commitment to the consensus initiative, Sokoto State Governor and presidential candidate Aminu Tambuwal was bound to respect the outcome of the Abdullahi committee on the issue of consensual candidacy. Obisesan said to do otherwise would paint Tambuwal as a sore loser.
In a statement signed by a former governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido, and former Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Adamu Waziri, the leaders said: “Any member of the party has the inalienable right to stand for any office, including the presidential election. . To this end, only the party’s national convention on May 29 would decide the party’s presidential ticket.
“We would like to state at the outset that there is nothing called the Northern PDP. Our gathering as key stakeholders from the Northern States is only meant to debunk any idea or impression that may have been created by Professor Ango Abdullahi’s statement to the media on the Northern Elders Forum having shortlisted presidential candidates of the PDP by consensus.
“The Peoples’ Democratic Party, as conceived by its founding fathers, is and remains the first national political platform, in which the democratic aspirations of its many members can be actualized, devoid of any sectoral consideration.
“Our party is neither North nor South, but Nigerian!”
The statement further stated that the Northern leaders were pleased that the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), through its secretary, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, disassociated itself from Abdullahi’s statement to the media, saying saying, “They made it clear that this was Ango’s personal opinion. ”
The PDP elders said the aspirants informed the northern leaders that they were discussing among themselves and “consulting with other elders in order to create better understanding and unity among them. Their ultimate goal is to build a national consensus that will produce a national candidate for the party. We urge them to continue this commendable effort.
“Our meeting today aims to reinforce the press statement issued on 23/4/22 by Governor Sule Lamido. We maintain that all of our aspirants are qualified to hold the Nigerian Presidency under the PDP banner and we will continue to support , promote and campaign and win the presidency by the candidate produced by our national convention scheduled for May 28-29, 2022.
“We call on all aspirants to be more restrained in their speech and to 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, your prayers, your expectations and your HOPE to be SAVED. Your unwavering faith in the PDP will set us free in 2023. By the power of the Almighty, we will not disappoint the Nigeria.
Dignitaries present at the meeting included Lamido, the former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu; former Adamawa State Governor Boni Haruna; former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Ibrahim; Waziri; former Minister of Public Works, Senator Sanusi Daggash; Senator Dino Melaye; Senator Solomon Ewuga; and Ambassador Aminu Wale.
Meanwhile, the co-organizer of the Nigerian group said Tambuwal must abide by the outcome of the consensus committee, having previously committed to the consensus initiative.
Obisesan said in a statement, “We urge Governor Tambuwal to accept the outcome of the process in the collective interest of the country and to work for the success of the initiative as a strategic intervention to give Nigeria a viable alternative.
“The committee adopted an equitable model, as the North West has remained the dominant area in power sharing in the region since 1999, and it is normal that other areas are allowed to represent the interests of the North.
“It is common knowledge that Vice President Abubakar Atiku benefited from a similar deal in 2010, and the other contending parties have respected the outcome.
“At 75, we expect the veteran statesman to yield to the younger elements of the PDP and be a father to all as we search for a better alternative to the failing APC.”