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Saraki, Bala, Tambuwal Ready for North’s Consensus Candidate

Ahead of the May 29 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, former Senate President Bukola Saraki and Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed have agreed to produce a consensus candidate among them, The Nation reports.

The three met at the Government House in Bauchi yesterday.

Their decision comes a few days after former Vice President Atiku Abubakar obtained his nomination form.

Saraki told reporters that Atiku would be consulted.

He said: “Our concern for the hardship our people are going through is the reason for the meeting.

“We’re also looking ahead towards 2023 because it’s very clear that PDP is the only viable option to rescue this country from its present situation.

“That’s why we felt the need to hold this meeting because the stability and unity of this country are more important to us than our ambition.

“We felt the need to work together because we believe the three of us here are committed and with a lot of reserve energy moving ahead. There is great hope for this country to move ahead.

“The three of us have shown aspiration to lead this country but we have also come to realise that we are all capable of leading this country but at the end of the day, it’s only one person that will get the ticket.

“That’s why we have resolved to work closely together to ensure a consensus arrangement emerge among the three of us moving forward.”

It was learnt yesterday that the PDP will decide zoning after receiving and deliberating on the report of the committee it recently constituted for the purpose.

Senate Minority Leader and Chairman, Senate Caucus of the PDP, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, disclosed this during a telephone chat with our correspondent in Abuja.

The PDP had set up a 37-member committee to determine suitable zoning formula for all elective offices, particularly the Presidency, Senate President, and House of Representatives Speaker.

Abaribe said: “The party just set up zoning committee and that zoning committee which is made up of one person from each state of the federation will come up with the zoning formula.”

A former Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, said he would abide by whatever decision the PDP takes on zoning.

Speaking through his media aide, Lere Olayinka, he said: “Fayose will not have a contrary opinion to that of the party leadership on which zone should produce our candidate for the 2023 presidency.”

PDP National Secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, also said the zoning decision was yet to be made.

He said the party was waiting for the committee to turn in its report on the issue before a decision on it would be taken.

“This is why we have set up the 37-man committee to advise us on the issue of zoning,” he said.

However, a former PDP National Vice Chairman, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, believes it was too late for the party to zone the presidential ticket.

He said southern governors were entitled to their opinion to demand a president from their regions.

“If they decide to zone, we might come up with a presidential candidate that will not make any difference in the future of the country.

“It is better advised to encourage every Nigerian to participate. If we have a good president, unfairness, inequity, nepotism will be a thing of the past,” he said.

The Niger State Chairman of the PDP, Tanko Beji, is confident that the best candidate will emerge.

Speaking when he hosted former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi at the PDP Secretariat in Minna, Beji said: “We Will provide an enabling environment for all aspirants at the state and federal levels.”

The faction of the PDP led by Chief Bode George is set to meet to decide their position on zoning.

A leader and chieftain of PDP, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, said: “I am a fanatical member of PDP and I belong to the faction of Bode George.

“We are going to meet very soon to decide what to do with the presidential election, especially on zoning.”

Those who have declared their intention to contest for president on the PDP platform from the Southeast are former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim and renowned pharmacist and former Senator Sam Ohuabunwa.

Obi said he was still consulting, while Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike is rumoured to be interested.

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Copyright 2022 SIGNAL. Permission to use portions of this article is granted provided appropriate credits are given to  www.signalng.com and other relevant sources.

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