By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Former Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, and erstwhile Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa yesterday picked the presidential nomination form and expression of interest form of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
They collected the forms at the PDP headquarters in Abuja after paying the required fee of N12. 5 million each.
The presidential aspirants picked the forms at the office of the National Organising Secretary of the party, Colonel Austin Akobundu, (Rtd).
Bafarawa, who personally came for the collection of his form, however fielded questions from journalists, during which he kicked against the issue of consensus candidate among the aspirants.
According to him, “If we say that we are going for consensus, what are we going to do with it? We agree we are all brothers. We see it as a game.
Therefore, if anybody is interested in withdrawing himself from the race, it’s a welcome idea.
“But talking of consensus you are going to fall like APC where we are going to have a one-man show.
We don’t want to go for one-man show. We want to practice democracy so that people will choose their own better candidate.
“For example, if APC is playing democracy, they will allow an least three to four aspirants to aspire for the position.
But because the party is a limited liability company while PDP is a public limited company, it is welcome by everybody”, he said.
Bafarawa added that the large number aspirants seeking to get the presidential ticket of the PDP was an encouragement.
According to him, “Honestly speaking, it (the large number of the PDP presidential aspirants) is giving us encouragement. That shows that our party is a democratic party and is a popular party, acceptable by Nigerians”.
However, the Director of Media and Publicity of the Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, Sola Atere, who collected the forms on behalf of his principal, stated that the issue of consensus was not what was at stake now.
According to him, “We are not talking about consensus now. The whole issue is an open one. We are here to collect the presidential nomination form for our aspirant (Turaki). He has credibility and integrity. He has a deep knowledge of the situation of things in the country. He is humble and has fear of God”.
Meanwhile, two other presidential aspirants of the party-Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso-were at the PDP national secretariat yesterday, but they didn’t collect form Alhaji Atiku, who spent less than fifteen minutes at the party’s office, left without making any comment.
Also Kwankwaso, who came after Atiku had left the PDP headquarters, also departed after a brief stay.