National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, on Wednesday, met presidential aspirants on the platform of the party. The party began sale of nomination forms for various elective offices for 2019 general elections since Tuesday, and about 12 persons are seeking the PDP sole presidential ticket.
Among presidential aspirants present at the meeting were President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki; former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; former Plateau State governor, Senator Jonah Jang; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; former governor of the state, Alhaji Atahiru Bafarawa and his Kano State counterpart, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau. Former Chairman of the PDP National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarafi, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Kabir Tanimu Turaki (SAN) were also in attendance. A party source said the meeting was to fashion out how to ensure that the party doesn’t become weakened after the primaries.
According to the source, the aspirants were told to abide by the rules of engagement since most of them are bent on going into the primaries. “The idea of the meeting was to spell out the rules of engagement for the aspirants and make them understand that they need to put Nigeria first.
“It was also to make them play by the rules and not run campaigns that would be injurious to the party when it faces the presidential candidate of the APC,” the source added.
Saraki, who spoke after the meeting, said it was to promote unity and corporation among the aspirants. Kwankwaso, who said he was happy to be at the meeting, said no one can stop him from campaigning in Kano State, adding that he does not need anybody’s permission to go Kano. Meanwhile, Tambuwal who arrived PDP National Secretariat about 6p.m. to pick his nomination form, said he is not averse to consensus.
The governor described consensus as part of democracy. “If there is a possibility of it, why not? If it is not possible, then, we all go for the primaries. But I believe that PDP of today is capable of organising free, fair, credible and transparent primaries,” he said.
The governor said he would not be discouraged by any challenge President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration might put against the opposition.
“I believe you need to check back my political antecedents. I have been always confronted with this kind of hostile environment. You remember how I emerged as Speaker of House of Representatives and how I remained there as Speaker of House of Representatives,” Tambuwal stated after picking his nomination form. He promised to tackle the herdsmen/farmers crisis. He described the crisis as a major security concern to every Nigerian.
Tambuwal said he would take a comprehensive look at the issue and proffer solutions, if elected president. The governor promised to deploy his energies in unifying Nigerians, arresting the drift in our economic fortunes, leading from the front, mainstreaming inclusiveness in all aspects of governance, and giving the youth and women the desired support to realise their huge potentials. National Financial Secretary of PDP, Abdullahi MaiBasira, handed over the nomination form to Tambuwal.