Posted by Sunday Oguntola | 19 August 2018 | 1,853 times
Some powerful forces in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are canvassing consensus for the purpose of picking the party’s presidential candidate in next year’s election to avoid a post-primary crisis, The Nation now report.
The promoters of the consensus arrangement see it as the “only veritable option” open to the party in view of the huge number of members who have already indicated interest in the party’s presidential ticket.
There are 11 at the last count.
They include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State; Governor Ibrahim Dankwabo of Gombe State; a former Special Duties Minister, Tanimu Turaki; and a former Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
Also in the running are two former governors of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and former Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau; former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa; former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido; and an industrialist, Dr Baba Datti Ahmed.
Senate President Bukola Saraki said on Tuesday that he is “consulting and actively considering” joining the race.
The PDP has picked October 5 and 6 for its national convention to decide who will fly its flag in the February 16, 2019 election.
But some top members of the party fear that a large number of those seeking the PDP presidential ticket may spell doom for it.
They are worried that a primary contest could throw the party into a fratricidal conflict, the end of which may be difficult to predict.
It was learnt that some of the presidential aspirants may not be serious after all and that they may be only interested in attracting attention to themselves.
Highly placed party sources said some of the aspirants would not mind other elective offices if persuaded given the “fact that even a political student knows they cannot win as little as three million nationwide.”
There is also the theory that some of them may have been planted by the APC to weaken PDP base ahead of the 2019 elections.
One of the sources, a NWC member said: “We are very sad about the large number of presidential aspirants we have. You could argue it should be a blessing but it means we have stormy days ahead considering the chances of post-primary crisis.
“It is even more worrisome that some of our heavyweight aspirants have opted for the presidential race. We would have been happy if some were in the senatorial race or what have you.
“As it is now, there must be a consensus for us to be sure of winning. It is obvious we cannot win with the array of materials contesting for our presidential ticket.”
•Excerpted from The Nation report
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