PDP BoT to Meet With Presidential Aspirants over Consensus Candidate

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    • Says party happy to ‘donate’ Akpabio to APC
    • PDP primary election will not cause Crisis, says Turaki

    James Sowole in Akure and John Shiklam in Kaduna

    The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is to meet with all its presidential aspirants to discuss the possibility of reaching agreement on a consensus candidate for the 2019 elections.

    Chairman of the BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin, disclosed this wednesday at a press conference in Kaduna, the Kaduna State capital.

    This is coming as the former Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs and presidential aspirant onthe platform of the PDP, Mr. Kabiru Taminu-Turaki, yesterday expressed optimism that the presidential primary of the party would not create problems for the main opposition party.

    The PDP BoT chairman also stated that the main opposition party was happy to ‘donate’ the former Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio to the All Progressives Congress (APC), adding that PDP has many qualified senators who can do Akpabio’s job, which has been elevated to Senate Majority Leader, in view of the numerical strength of the main opposition party in the Senate.

    Jibrin also insisted that those who participated in blocking the National Assembly last Tuesday must not be allowed to go free.

    While advising the presidential aspirants of the PDP to go about their campaigns with decorum and shun rumours that could scuttle their chances of becoming the next president, Walid said the BoT was making every effort to bring the aspirants together to discuss on the possibility of having a consensus candidate.

    “Efforts are on ground by BoT to bring all the PDP presidential aspirants together to consider how best they should accept one of them to stand, realising that despite their number, only one person will emerge as a candidate during the primaries and also only one person will emerge as the president of Nigeria” he said.
    Jibrin added however that if the aspirants cannot agree on a consensus candidate, the party will have no other choice but to conduct primaries.

    He also stressed the need for the party to allow more room for defectors as it “will continue to boost the ego of the party.” “While we do this, we will also consider the role played by our old and hardworking existing members who supported the party almost to the point of death. No defector should be pushed away for now. We shall apply conflict management resolution methodology to enable us remain stronger.

    “We must at all cost sacrifice. In the light of the above, PDP shall never be used against us by the APC as more of their members continue to decamp to PDP and the integrity they are trying to sell themselves as aspirants. I assure them that they are all qualified but only one of them will become the president of Nigeria,” he said.

    Jibril said the BoT would try its best to carry out its function by remaining the conscience of the party always.
    Jibrin said: “We have men and women of honour in the BoT that will never sell their conscience and will ensure that the best will come out of the presidential aspirants without fear or favour.
    “I urge all organs of the party to partner the BoT in

    this respect. I call on all the members of PDP to remain calm and resolute by remaining unshaken with the belief that PDP will take over government at the federal and state levels with majority of our members in National Assembly and state assemblies.”

    Commenting on the siege on the National Assembly by the Department of State Security (DSS) on Tuesday, Jibrin said such undemocratic practice would not move the country forward.

    He described the action of the DSS as condemnable and called for appropriate sanction against the perpetrators.
    The BoT Chairman com-mended Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for taking the decision to do away with the DSS Director General and promising to investigate the incident.

    Jibrin said: the defection of Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Governors Aminu Tambuwal, Samuel Ortom, Abdulfatai Ahmed; Senator Rabiu Kwankaso and several other members of the National Assembly to the PDP, with many more on their way out of the APC, should be seen as an act of democracy.

    “They should therefore never be condemned but praised for their boldness of taking a decision on behalf of their numerous supporters.

    “The purported resignation of our Senate Minority Leader, Akpabio, is also an act of democracy.

    “Therefore, considering the recent action taken by Vice President Osinbajo, the PDP is happy to donate Akpabio to APC through him with great pleasure, as we have many PDP senators to do that job which has been upgraded to majority leader.

    On behalf of the BoT, we wish Akpabio bye-bye and safe journey, advising, him to learn from history, especially
    from those that left us and are now returning,” he said.

    Meanwhile, a former Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs and presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Kabiru Taminu-Turaki, has expressed optimism that the presidential primary of the party would not create problems.

    He stated this in Akure, the Ondo State capital, while speaking with journalists after meeting with leaders of the party at the party’s state secretariat.

    Turaki disclosed that all the presidential aspirants of the party were already meeting in a bid to have a candidate ahead the presidential primary of the party without any rancour.

    He declared that the party was determined to oust the present administration of the APC.

    According to the presidential aspirant, the forthcoming presidential election in 2019 is not about the PDP or any individual but about the rescue of the “failing Nigeria” from the APC-led government.
    He said the need to oust the APC led government made all the PDP aspirants agreed to support anybody eventually emerged as the candidate of the party .

    “Nigeria needs a person with good character, integrity, good health and fear of God. All the aspirants of the PDP are eminently qualified to get the ticket of the party.

    “ I want to say that anyone of us that gets the ticket of the party will perform better than what the APC is doing to our country now. We have met and discussed with one another that we will support anyone who gets the ticket.
    “The matter is not about us or the PDP but about the people of this country. People are being killed everyday and nothing is being done about it, our economy is nothing to write home about, the APC is moving the country backward,” he said.