Attempt at consensus presidential candidate causes rancor in PDP

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It emerged yesterday that leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are running from pillar to post over the party’s presidential aspirants who seem to be set for a showdown in the battle for the party’s ticket.
So far, there are 12 presidential aspirants in the race and whoever becomes PDP’s presidential candidate is expected to be the main challenger of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election.
But the prospect of a consensus candidate emerging from the ranks of the PDP presidential aspirants appears slim, as they are all poised to slug it out for the party’s ticket at the party’s primaries scheduled to hold on October 6 this year.

According to The Leadership, most of the aspirants have resolved to test their popularity at the party’s convention, with the hope that it is going to be a free and fair primaries by the party leadership.

Submitting his presidential nomination forms yesterday, Senate President Bukola Saraki played down the possibility of a consensus candidate emerging, stressing that what is important for the party is having a free and credible primaries.

The senate president who was accompanied by some of his loyalists to the PDP national secretariat, said, “I don’t think the consensus thing is the issue before us because we are trying to ensure that there is internal democracy in the system and a very credible primaries. What is important is that at the end of the day we have something that is rancour-free.

“What I can tell you is that we are working together because we are still part of one family. I believe at the end of the day, we will have a process that whoever emerges will be supported by all of us so that there will be no need dividing ourselves.

“We are happy as a party that we have competent people managing the process. It is your responsibility to ensure that the best man emerges and to ensure that there is credibility in the process so that it will be acceptable to all.”

The Senate president added that what is important for them is the lives of millions of Nigerians who are going through such a tough time and who now believe that it is only through the PDP that that can happen.

He continued: “We will play our own part in ensuring that we unite every body. It has always been my antecedent to provide unity, to provide leadership in this kind of scenario. I can assure you I will play my role in uniting all of us because we are part of one family and we are actually part of one family.

“Our problem is not in PDP but in the other party. So, we will stay united to carry out this exercise as a family affair and we will ensure that the party will also show that we will do something that is respected across the world so that that will give us the platform to go and deliver.”

On his part, another presidential aspirant of the party, Senator Jonah Jang said he will never step down for any other aspirant and that not even his party can ask him to do so.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja yesterday, the former governor of Plateau State said, “If I am to step down, why would I be aspiring in the first place?

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