2019: Plan For Consensus Candidate Tears PDP Presidential Aspirants Apart
Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are running from pillar to post over the party’s presidential aspirants who seem to be set for a showdown in the battle for the party’s ticket.
So far, there are 12 presidential aspirants in the race and whoever becomes PDP’s presidential candidate is expected to be the main challenger of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election.
In the race for the party’s presidential ticket are former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dankwabo; Senate President Bukola Saraki; former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido; former Kaduna State Governor, Ahmed Makarfi and a former Special Duties Minister, Tanimu Turaki.
Others are former Senate President, David Mark; former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso; former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; former Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang; and Senator Baba Datti Ahmed.
But the prospect of a consensus candidate emerging from the ranks of the PDP presidential aspirants appears slim, as they are all poised to slug it out for the party’s ticket at the party’s primaries scheduled to hold on October 6 this year.
It was gathered that most of the aspirants had resolved to test their popularity at the party’s convention, with the hope that it would be a free and fair primaries by the party leadership.
The party's Board of Trustees (BoT) is canvasing consensus, saying the number of candidate is high.
To Saraki, consensus “is not the issue”.
He spoke on Monday at the party’s Abuja secretariat shortly after submitted his nomination papers.
Saraki said: “I don’t think the consensus thing is the issue before us because we are trying to ensure that there is internal democracy in the system and very credible primaries.
“What is important is that at the end of the day, we have something that is rancour free. What I can tell you is that we are working together because we are still part of one family.
“I believe at the end of the day, we will have a process that whoever emerges will be supported by all of us. So that there will be no need dividing ourselves".
On his part, Jang said he would never step down for any other aspirant and that not even his party could ask him to do so.
Addressing reporters in Abuja on Monday, the former governor of Plateau State said: “If I am to step down, why would I be aspiring in the first place?
"I am here to run for the presidency and become the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Who do you want me to step down for? My party cannot ask me to step down because they sold the form to me”.
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