Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Monday said it had set up a 12-member committee to discuss with the party’s 13 presidential aspirants, with a view to picking one of them as consensus candidate.
It, however, did not disclose the members of the committee.
Those in the race for the presidential ticket of the PDP are: former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwabo; President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido; former Governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi; former Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang; and former President of the Senate, David Mark.
Others are: former Minister Special Duties Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki; former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso; former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa; Mr. Stanley Osifo and a former Senator, Baba Datti Ahmed.
The BoT had last week met in Abuja where it disclosed that it was working to reduce the rising number of presidential aspirants, but said it would not force any aspirant to step down.
However, the BoT chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, in a text message to our correspondent said that the committee would impress it on the aspirants the dangers inherent in having such a large number aspirants in the race.
He stressed that the committee would not compel any of the aspirants to withdraw from the race, but rather, “they would be persuaded to put the interest of the party above their personal interests and ambitions”.
Jibrin who admitted that the present number of aspirants was complex, noted that there were fears that there could be disagreement among the contestants that could lead to major divisions after the primaries.
He said: “A committee has been set up to discuss with all the aspirants to come up with one of them as a consensus candidate. We have 13 of them in the race.
“We have also advised the leadership of the party to regulate the processes and draw a code of conduct to guide the conduct and behaviour of the aspirants and officials to be engaged in the selection process.
“Consequently, the BoT has forwarded its full recommendations to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP for consideration.”
Jibrin, whose tenure as chairman Bot has been renewed, urged members of the BoT to always maintain their honour and integrity by remaining neutral in all the processes leading to the emergence of party’s candidate.