Mohammed Aminu in Birnin Kebbi
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) youths in the North-west yesterday called on former Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, to contest for the presidential election in 2019.
Speaking with THISDAY in Birnin Kebbi, a PDP youth leader from the zone, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed that some northern elders met with some women and youths last Friday under the auspices of Northern Coalition Forces in Kebbi State.
He stated that the elders deliberated on the issue of presenting a credible candidate as an alternative to President Muhammed Buhari in 2019, where two names were presented that included that of Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Bafarawa.
According to him, the elders later picked Bafarawa as the best candidate being a bridge builder and acceptable across the country.
â€œItâ€™s true a meeting was held between some northern leaders, elders and youths in Birnin Kebbi where the issue of how PDP can present a credible candidate was discussed extensively.
â€œThe elders later picked Bafarawa ahead of others because of his experience, penchant for good governance and integrity.
â€œThey see the former Sokoto State governor as an astute politician who can battle Buhari in the region as compared to all the other contenders from the PDP coming from the North-west,â€ he said.
The youth leader described Bafarawa as an astute politician whose track record of grooming youths to various positions of authority is unprecedented.
He noted that the former governor has remained committed towards the sustenance of unity, peace and stability in the country.
â€œBafarawa has always been a man of peace. He has always shown concern to many victims of attacks, clashes and disaster by visiting them and providing assistance.
â€œHis courage and strong voice in fighting political intimidation and persecution against political leaders since 2015 has endeared him to many pressure groups and civil rights movement across Nigeria.â€
He added that Bafarawa was a former founding father of many successful political parties in Nigeria right from UNCP, All Nigeria Peoples Party, Democratic People Party, ACN to All Progressives Congress (APC).
When contacted, Bafarawaâ€™s media aide and political associate, Malam Yusuf Dingyadi, described Bafarawaâ€™s endorsement by northern elders and youths as a welcome development.
Dingyadi however, declined to comment on whether Bafarawa would agree to run for the presidential seat or not.
â€œIt is true that people have been calling on Bafarawa to run for the presidential seat in 2019 but because he made a promise to consult with other stakeholders and leadership across the country, he is waiting for the right time for him to take a decision.
â€œSo, we are happy with the clamour by youths across the country, specifically from our northern supporters for him to contest. I am assuring them that he will soon declare his intention,â€ Dingyadi added.