…Say convention will produce party’s flag bearer
…Insist party neither South nor North
ABUJA- Following last week’s adoption of former Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed as Northern consensus candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by the Ibrahim Babangida-led group; leaders of the party from 19 Northern states, Monday, said PDP remains a party for Nigerians, not an ethnic party for the South or North.
The leaders, made up of former governors, ex Ministers, and erstwhile members of National and State Assemblies, dismissed the Babangida/Ango Abdulllahi-led group that produced Saraki and Bala Mohammed, saying the founding fathers of PDP, created a party of national consensus where every zone or region has a sense of belonging.
In a communique jointly signed by former Jigawa state governor, Sule Lamido, and ex-Minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Waziri, the PDP leaders urged all Presidential aspirants to head to the convention to test their popularity.
The communique read in part: “We would like to state from the onset that there is nothing called the Northern PDP. Our coming together as key stakeholders from the Northern states is only for the purpose of debunking any notion or impression which might have been created by Prof Ango Abdullahi’s media statement about the Northern Elders Forum having shortlisted consensus PDP presidential candidates.
“The People’s Democratic Party as conceived by its founding fathers is and remains the foremost national political platform wherein the democratic aspirations of its teeming members can be actualized devoid of any sectional consideration. Our party is neither Northern nor Southern but Nigeria!
“We are happy to note that the Northern Elders Forum has through its secretary, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed disassociated itself from Prof Ango’s media statement. They made it clear that it is Ango’s personal opinion.”
The Lamido-led group noted that it has been informed that “they are discussing among themselves. They are consulting other senior citizens in order to create a better understanding and unity among themselves. Their ultimate objective is to build a national consensus that will produce a national candidate for the party.”
The communique further read: “Our meeting today is to reinforce the press release issued on 23rd April 2022 by Sule Lamido. We maintain that all our aspirants are
qualified to occupy the Nigerian Presidency under the PDP banner and we shall continue to support, promote and campaign and win
the Presidency by the candidate produced by our national convention scheduled for May
28th – 29th 2022.
“We appeal to all aspirants to be more temperate in their utterances and 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, prayers, expectations, and hope to be rescued. Your abiding faith in PDP shall set us free in 2023.”
The meeting was attended by Sule Lamido, Adamu Waziri, ex-Minister of National Planning, Sanusi Dagash, former Kogi state governor, Ibrahim Idris, two-time governor of Adamawa state, Boni Haruna, and a former lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye, among others.