…As South East Leaders meet in Abuja over Zoning
By Mike Odiakose
Leaders and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Stakeholders from the nineteen northern states have disowned the endorsement of Governor Bala Mohammed and Dr Bukola Saraki as consensus presidential PDP presidential aspirants from the north.
In a communiqué issued at the end of a meeting in Abuja, which was signed by former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido and Adamu Maina Waziri, they declared that the statement credited to Prof Ango Abdullahi on the endorsement of two presidential aspirants are his personal opinion and does not represent the position of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF.
They called on all the PDP presidential aspirants from the north to continue to dialogue to ensure the party presents an aspirant that can upstage the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2023.
Part of the communiqué reads: “We would like to state from the onset that there is nothing called the Northern PDP. Our coming together as key stakeholders from the Northern States is only for the purpose of debunking any notion or impression which might have been created by Prof Ango Abdullahi media statement about the Northern Elders Forum having shortlisted consensus PDP presidential Candidates.
“The Peoples Democratic Party as conceived by its founding fathers is and remains the foremost national political platform wherein the democratic aspirations of its teeming members can be actualized devoid of any sectional consideration. Our party is neither Northern nor Southern but Nigeria!
“We are happy to note that the Northern Elders Forum has through its Secretary Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed disassociated itself from Prof Ango’s media statement. They made it clear that it is Ango’s personal opinion.
“The aspirants have informed us that they are discussing among themselves. They are consulting other senior citizens in order to create a better understanding and unity among themselves. Their ultimate objective is to build a National Consensus that will produce a National Candidate for the Party.
“We urge them to keep up with this commendable effort. Our meeting today is to reinforce on the press release issued on 23/4/22 by Gov. Sule Lamido. We maintain that all our aspirants are qualified to occupy the Nigerian Presidency under the PDP banner and we shall continue to support, promote and campaign and win the Presidency by the candidate produced by our National convention scheduled for May 28th-29th 2022.
“We appeal to all Aspirants to be more temperate in their utterances and work to promote harmony and better understanding within the PDP Family.
“We also want to assure all PDP members and indeed all Nigerians that we are aware of your pains, prayers, expectations and hope to be rescued.”
Meanwhile, some presidential aspirants from the South East across party line on Monday met in Abuja over the zoning of the presidential ticket of political parties to the zone.
The meeting which was organized by Greater Nigeria Conference, GNC, took place at the Executive Hall, International Conference Center, Abuja.
According to Francis Nwaze, Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Governor Umahi, the meeting is aimed at ensuring that all political parties particularly the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP cede their Presidential candidates to the South-East zone.
According to the media aide, “it is expected that all the presidential aspirants from the zone will be unveiled with Video Documentaries and responses.
Some of the presidential aspirants across parties in attendance include Dave Umahi, Chris Ngige, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, Sen. Rochas Okorocha, Caroline Nwosu, Sam Ohuabunwa.
Other dignitaries in attendance include Chief Achike Udenwe, Prof ABC Nwosu, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, Sen. Ben Obi, Chief Okwesiri Eze Nwodo, and Senator Victor Umeh, Iyom Josephine Anenih, Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru, Hon. Chinedu Ogah, among others.