Presidential aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday rejected the proposal by the Prince Uche Seconds-led National Executive Committee for the adoption of consensus to produce the party’s candidate for the 2019 elections.
The aspirants met on Tuesday with the leadership of the party, including State Governors elected on the platform of the party, in Abuja.
Those at the meeting included former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; former Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Kabiru Taminu Turaki; President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki; former President of the Senate, Dr. David Bonaventure Mark; and Dr. Datti Baba-Ahmed.
Others in attendance were Governor of Sokoto State and a presidential aspirant, Aminu Tambuwal; former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Jona Jang; former Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi; former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso; former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido; and former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa.
Governors present included the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson; Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed; and Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, who was the host and is the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum.
Sources at the meeting told The Eagle Online that the aspirants eventually decided on going for primaries, which they insisted must be free and fair.
They also agreed to abide by the outcome of the primaries and support whoever emerges once it is free and fair.
Fayose had before the rejection of the idea, told the aspirants that the only way to avoid rancour was to settle for consensus in producing the party’s presidential candidate.
He warned that any disagreement will give the All Progressives Congress, which on Tuesday adopted President Muhammadu Buhari as its sole presidential candidate, the room to remain in power beyond 2019.
Saraki had in a tweet on his Twitter handle confirmed the meeting, but did not disclose the outcome.
He tweeted: ““We just concluded a successful meeting of PDP Presidential aspirants with the party leadership and State Governors. I am proud of the level of collaboration, commitment and camaraderie amongst all those in attendance.
“There was a general determination and commitment to ensure that the party holds successful, credible and transparent presidential primaries that Nigeria will be proud of. We remain a happy family — flying the flag of democracy!”