Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC) has started conversation with its presidential aspirants on the need to accept the outcome of the presidential primary and work collectively for the party’s victory in next year’s general election.
The meeting which held in Abuja on Wednesday was initially scheduled for 2pm but did not hold until 8pm and lasted over four hours. Journalists were denied access to the hall.
It was gathered that the meeting was mostly on how to prone down the rising number of the presidential aspirants of the party and get their consent to accept the outcome of the primaries.
As at last count, 12 presidential aspirants have indicated interest to vie for the presidency on the platform of the party.
Aspirants that attended the meeting which took place at Transport Hilton Hotel, Abuja, were former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Senate President Bukola Saraki, former Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, former Sokoto State Governor Atahiru Bafarawa, former Chairman of the PDP Caretaker Committee Ahmed Makarafi, former Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, and Kabir Tanimu Turaki, SAN.
However, other presidential aspirants – Ahmed Datti, Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dankwanbo, former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido and Ahmed Buhari – were absent.
Though, Bafarawa, after picking his forms Wednesday at the party secretariat, had said that the rising number of aspirant was encouraging, stressing that it shows that the party is accepted by Nigerians.
Bafarawa vehemently opposed the issue of consensus candidate, saying those talking about consensus candidates are not interested in democracy, adding that any aspirant that wishes to withdraw from the race is welcomed.
“If we say that we are going for consensus, what are we going to do with it? We agree we are all brothers. We see it as a game.
“Therefore, if anybody is interested in withdrawing himself from the race, it’s a welcome idea. But talking of consensus you are going to fall like APC where we are going to have a one-man show.
“We don’t want to go for one-man show. We want to practice democracy so that people will choose their own better candidate. For example, if APC is playing democracy, they will allow at least three to four aspirants to aspire for the position. But because the party is a limited liability company while PDP is a public limited company, it is welcome by everybody,” he noted.