Northern elders and stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have started profiling possible presidential aspirants of the party for the 2019 presidential election. PDP has resolved to field a northerner as candidate for the 2019 presidential election.
So far, two aspirants from the North – former Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido and his Kano State counterpart, Malam Ibrahim Shakaru, have officially declared to seek the party’s ticket for the election.
Apart from the two, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who recently returned to PDP, is interested in the presidential ticket, so also is Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo and former Sokoto State governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa. Immediate past Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, is also said to be in the race.
Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin, who spoke yesterday when he received members of PDP ward-2-ward on courtesy visit, said the region has commenced the process of identifying credible candidates from the North who will fly the party’s flag in the 2019 presidential election. “All of us as a party, we agreed that the president of Nigeria should come from the North.
I enjoin you to support the North to bring and give you a very capable president, never a no-do-well president, a good qualitative president. “We are all doing what we can in the North with all the leaders to identify who is the best candidate to rule this country, the best person that will take away power from the ruling party because 2019 is our own; 2019 is for PDP,” the BOT chairman stated. He described the return of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to the party as a good omen for the PDP, and said the party was expecting more former PDP members who had left the party.
“We are also expecting a big return of some of our former governors, our National Assembly members and very renowned party followers. And when this is done, which will be done very quickly, then the party will now come to its stable stand. “We should encourage anybody who has left us to come back and reunite with us.
We will not hate anyone or deprive anybody. It is a good omen for this party that we should receive people.
“We are, therefore, calling on the Senate President Bukola Saraki, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and all our former legislators who have left this party to come back quickly,” Jibrin said. The PDP BoT chairman noted that when those who left the PDP from the North return, “We all will decide who will be the president of Nigeria, and we have set the machinery already.”
He disclosed that the BoT has set up internal reconciliation committee headed by former President of the Senate, David Mark, to reconcile members of the board who were at different camps during last year’s PDP National Convention. “BoT, throughout the campaign was neutral, but some people decided to pitch camp with some aspirants. Because of that, we have decided to set a committee,” he disclosed.
According to him, the committee was given two weeks to complete its assignment, adding that the committee’s assignment was limited only to BoT members since Governor Seriake Dickson’s National Reconciliation Committee was already reconciling aggrieved PDP members. Jibrin, however, warned members of the factional group, the Fresh PDP, to de-sist from creating further crisis in the party.
“This our party has undergone many trials, trials of leaving the party by some former governors and some party leaders. Followed by the misfortune we have suffered under Ali Modu Sheriff and now one group is coming up again, the so-called Fresh PDP. “I will pray that this PDP (group) will not see the light at all. We are doing all we can to ensure that they do not go anywhere. The suffering we suffered in the party will not be repeated,” Jibrin prayed.
He commended the role PDP governors played in the emergence of Prince Uche Secondus as National Chairman, stating that if not for the governors, the party would not have had a successful convention. “All the 11 governors supported the candidature of Secondus,” he said, and assured that the BoT would discourage every move to create another crisis in the PDP.