The Northern Elders Forum has endorsed former Senate President Bukola Saraki and Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State as the northern consensus presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
It was gathered that the four major northern presidential aspirants in PDP, have reached an agreement to limit the number of aspirants from the region.
The candidates are Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, his Bauchi counterpart, Bala Mohammed, former Senate President Bukola Saraki and economist, Mohammed Hayatu-deen.
According to a report made available to newsmen and signed by Professor Ango Abdullahi, the aspirants gave for Head of State Ibrahim Babangida to lead the mandate for a consensus and agreed to abide by the outcome.
The report revealed that Babangida had asked the aspirants to pick a consensus and the four major aspirants were submitted to him.
The former president on his part opted for inclusion by “and assigned me to design a criteria and carry out the necessary consultations with elders and leaders across the three geopolitical zones of the North,” Professor Abdullahi said.
The former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University stated further that “In the first phase, the opinions of six distinguished persons each from the three
geopolitical zones were sought with regards to each of the four aspirants. Each of the Zonal delegates were allocated two votes to choose the first and second choice making a total of 36 votes overall. The outcome of that consultation was as follows:
7 votes for candidate (A) Aminu Waziri
• 10 votes for candidate (B) Bala Muhd
• 10 votes for candidate (C) A-B Saraki
• 5 votes for candidate (D) M Hayatu-deen
One of the elders deferred his votes on grounds of continuing consultations with traditional rulers and other major stakeholders.
Two members did not cast their second ballots bringing the total to 32 votes casted out of 36.
“The next phase involved opinion based on regions which was concluded as follows:
a. North Central – (Eight)
b. North East- (Seven)
c. North West – (Two)
One is still under consultation,” he said.
In the third phase, Professor Abdullahi noted that “resort was made to the historical antecedents of the PDP with regards to previous northern aspirations and the following conclusion was reached:
a. That the North West has had the opportunity of contesting and even forming government in 2007.
b. In 2011 a consensus was made among the four northern candidates, Which North East got the slot but lost at the primaries. In 2019, it got the slot again though the party could not form the government.
c. The North Central has not had a single opportunity to get the PDP ticket since the inception of the current fourth Republic.
“It was recommended that a leading aspirant from the North Central and one from the North East are to be presented as northern presidential candidates.
“The two would in turn be required to make further concessions so that in the end one of them would be presented as the consensus candidate, out of the four that presented themselves from the North.
“For the purpose of this exercise, it is hereby resolved that Gov Bala Mohammad from the North East and former Senate President Bukola Saraki from the North Central be presented as the northern Consensus Candidates for the moment.
The successful aspirants are hereby urged to work together to make allowance for further consultations to foster understanding among themselves, and the PDP community to ensure a rancor free primaries in which all eligible candidates would be free to exercise their right.
We sincerely commend the sportsmanship and Statesmanship exhibited throughout the exercise by all those involved and urge continuous cooperation and team work to ensure victory for the party,” Professor Abdullahi said.