From Lateef Ibrahim Abuja
The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has set up a 12-member committee to discuss with the party’s 12 presidential aspirants, with a view to picking one of them as consensus candidate.
This is even as the PDP Governors’ Forum has resolved to hold an all-inclusive meeting with all the thirteen presidential aspirants of the party, its national chairman and two national officers.
The Chairman, of the BoT of the party, Senator Walid Jibrin who disclosed the setting of the committee yesterday, said the committee would impress it on the aspirants the dangers inherent in having such a large number of them in the race.
The opposition party presently has thirteen presidential aspirants who have indicated interest in contesting for the presidential ticket of the party.
While describing the present number of aspirants as unwieldy, Jibrin said there were fears that could be disagreement among the contestants that could lead to major divisions after the primaries.
The BoT chair, however said the committee would not compel any of the aspirants to withdraw from the race; adding that, “rather, they would be persuaded to put the interest of the party above their personal interests and ambitions”.
According to him, “A committee has been set up to discuss with all the aspirants to come up with one of them as a consensus candidate. We have 12 of them in the race.
“We have also advised the leadership of the party to regulate the processes and draw a code of conduct to guide the conduct and behaviour of the aspirants and officials to be engaged in the selection process.
“Consequently, the BoT has forwarded its full recommendations to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP for consideration”, he said.
Jibrin, whose tenure has been renewed for another five years, urged members of the BoT to always maintain their honour and integrity by remaining neutral in all the processes leading to the emergence of the candidate.
Those in the race for the presidential ticket of the PDP are former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwabo; President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki; former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido; former Governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi; and a former Special Duties Minister, Tanimu Turaki.
Others are a former President of the Senate, David Mark; a former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso; a former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa; a former Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang; a former Senator, Dr. Baba Datti Ahmed and Mr Usifo Stanley.
Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has resolved to hold an all-inclusive meeting with all the thirteen Presidential aspirants of the party, its National Chairman and two national officers.
The meeting will also have the leaders of the party in both chambers of the National Assembly in attendance.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of an emergency meeting of the PDP Governors’ Forum in Abuja yesterday.
The communiqué was signed by the Chairman of the forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose .
The Forum further condemned the flagrant violation of democratic ethos by operatives of this government as shown recently in the infamous act by the Police at the residence of Elder Statesman, Pa Edwin Clark, and the harassment on innocent Nigerians across the country on frivolous claims.
According to the communiqué, “The Forum notes the INEC needs to reinvent itself as a truly independent umpire of the electoral process in the country.
“For now, we have no confidence in INEC. The commission has conducted itself as a tool of the APC-led Federal Government, especially with the roles of the Chairman, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, and a National Commissioner, Mrs.Amina Zakari.
“The PDP Governors’ Forum condemned, in strong terms, the politicization of security agencies in the country by the Federal Government.
“We observe that Security agencies have become organs and tools of the APC-led Federal Government to harass and intimidate the opposition and dissenting voices.
“The Forum decries the use of security agencies to perpetrate electoral fraud as it happened in Ekiti, Osun and Rivers State and urged them to be non-partisan in the performance of their duties in accordance with the provisions of the constitution,” it said.