2019: Consensus Candidacy Tears PDP Apart
It appears that all is not well in the camp of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the number of aspirants gunning to run for the Presidency on the platform of the party.
Reports gathered yesterday evening suggests that the PDP leaders especially the Board of Trustees (BOT) membership are at loggerheads over how to reduce the number of presidential hopefuls in its fold with some suggesting the adoption of a consensus candidate while others have rejected the idea.
Whoever emerges from the 12 presidential hopefuls within the PDP is expected to be the main challenger of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who is running for a second term in office in the Presidential election holding next year.
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.
Most of the Presidential hopefuls prefer to test their popularity within the party by going all out in the primaries during the convention of the party while hoping for a free, fair and transparent election process.
The possibility of a consensus candidate was further downplayed by one of the major aspirants within the PDP, Senate President Bukola Saraki who stressed that it was essential that the PDP conduct free and credible primary elections to pick the party’s candidate for next year’s election.
Saraki said while submitting his nomination form at the PDP secretariat;
“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.
We are happy as a party that we have competent people managing the process. It is your responsibility to ensure that the best man emerges and to ensure that there is credibility in the process so that it will be acceptable to all.”
According to Dr. Saraki, the lives of millions of Nigerians going through a rough time are dependent on the outcome of the primaries because they believe it is through the PDP that their sufferings can be ameliorated.
“We will play our own part in ensuring that we unite everybody. It has always been my antecedent to provide unity, to provide leadership in this kind of scenario. I can assure you I will play my role in uniting all of us because we are part of one family and we are actually part of one family.
Our problem is not in PDP but in the other party. So, we will stay united to carry out this exercise as a family affair and we will ensure that the party will also show that we will do something that is respected across the world so that that will give us the platform to go and deliver.” Saraki concluded
Another Presidential hopeful who also returned his nomination to the PDP secretariat, former governor of Plateau state, Jonah Jang told journalist right after that he wouldn’t step down for any other aspirant nit even if the PDP asked him to.