- The PDP is set to have a meeting with its 13 presidential aspirants
- The meeting is aimed at producing a consensus candidate for the 2019 presidential election
- All party aspirants would meet with members of the PDP board of trustee on Thursday, September 20
The Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees panel saddled with the responsibility of producing a consensus candidate for the party would meet with aspirants on Thursday, September 20.
Punch reports that the 12-man panel headed by Walid Jibril would first meet before inviting the presidential aspirants for screening as required by the party.
It was gathered that the board of trustees had already contacted all the 13 PDP presidential aspirants for the proposed screening.
A source within the party said the aspirants would be persuaded to meet among themselves to agree on a consensus candidate before meeting with the leadership of the PDP.
Confirming the screening, Jibril said: “We will meet them on Thursday in Abuja, but I will not tell you the location. We are talking with the aspirants and I have hope that they will all work together for the progress of our party which will make us win the presidential election in 2019.”
Meanwhile, it was gathered that all the aspirants have made up their minds not to drop their ambitions for the presidential candidacy.
One of the trustees said the aspirants do not want to hear anything about consensus or stepping down for anyone, while another source said it is possible for the aspirants to strike a deal among themselves before the presidential convention slated for October 5 and 6.
However, a member of the PDP national working committee said the PDP is focused on picking a candidate that would deflate the popularity of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We are praying to have a candidate that will be loved by the entire country; a nationalist, who will see the entire country as his base. We also want a candidate that is loved by the north, where we have zoned the ticket to. We need someone that can break the support base of President Buhari. That is just it," he said.
Among aspirants to be screened are: a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar; governors of Sokoto, Gombe, Aminu Tambuwal and Ibrahim Dankwambo; former governors of Kano, Sokoto states, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Attahiru Bafarawa; Senate president, Bukola Saraki; a former president of the Senate, David Mark; a former minister of special duties and inter governmental relations, Tanimu Turaki; a former governor of Plateau state, Jonah Jang; and a former governor of Kaduna state, Ahmed Makarfi.
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Others are a former governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido; Datti Baba-Ahmed and Usifo Stanley.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that Saraki had said that the north central deserves a chance come 2019.
Saraki while addressing party faithful and supporters in Jos on Sunday, September 16, said that the north central had worked hard for the country and had remained loyal in spite of the seeming division in the country.
Election 2019: Can Saraki be the Next President of Nigeria? on NAIJ.com TV