Consensus Likely as North Central PDP Stakeholders Endorse Ayu for National Chair

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•Shema emerges northwest candidate, Nazif for northeast

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

There are still chances that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) might elect members of the National Working Committee of the party through consensus option.

This is because as at press time, the organisation and mobilisation department of the party was yet to record a single sale of form for any of the offices of the National Working Committee (NWC).

The outgoing NWC had Monday released fees to be paid by intending new members of the NWC. In the notification fees, National Chairmanship aspirants were expected to pay 5 million naira, while the Deputy Chairmanship and National Secretary aspirants were to 3 million naira.

Other substantive offices would pay 2 million naira and the deputy to the offices would pay N750,000

While the sales of the forms would end by Friday, as at press time on Wednesday, no aspirant had come forward to pay and pick a form, even when the screening of aspirants would take place on Saturday.

However, the northern PDP stakeholders were expected to meet last night to conclude over the consensus arrangement on all the offices swapped with the south. This included a consensus on the National Chairman. But the meeting has been postponed to 11am today, Thursday.

According to the Governor of Adamawa ‘State, Ahmad Fintiri, most of the northern stakeholders did not attend and blamed it on communication gap.

Although he said all the three zones of the north were interested in the office of the national chairman, he however hinted that, “A definite positive decision would be taken at the Thursday meeting”.

But last night, all the PDP Northern governors like Aminu Tambawul (Sokoto), Governor Samuel Ortom (Benue), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) and Isiaka Darius (Taraba) were present.

Also, a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Tanimu Turaki, Adamu Waziri, some former ministers, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, former Kwara State governor, Abdulfatai Ahmed and Board of Trustees members, were present.

The three zones of the north: north west, north east and north central were expected to nominate a consensus national chairman, where they would vote for the final consensus chairmanship candidate that would be anointed on October 31st

In the same manner, the southern stakeholders caucus would meet Thursday to pick consensus on the National Secretary and other offices zoned to it.

But, ahead of failed yesterday’s meeting of the northern caucus to choose a consensus national chairman, stakeholders from the North Central, consisting of Kogi, Niger, Kwara, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue states and the Federal Capital Territory, unanimously adopted a former Senate President, Iyorchia Ayu, as their consensus candidate for the position of national chairman.

The North central stakeholders’ meeting held Tuesday at the Benue State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja commenced late in the night and lasted for fours hours.

It was gathered that party stakeholders from the zone prevailed on other aspirants from the zone to step down for one another and allow a single candidate to emerge from the zone.

The following have been mentioned as vying for the position of PDP National Chairman from North Central zone: Former Senate President David Mark, former Senate President Ayu Iyorchia, former Minister of information, Professor Jerry Gana, former Kogi State governor, Ibrahim Idris and former Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu.

It was leant that after hours of deliberations among party stakeholders from North Central, the stakeholders adopted Ayu.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State said, “This is stakeholders meeting of North Central PDP in continuation of finding consensus candidates for the national chairmanship of the party.

“Looking for someone with the capacity, with the commitment, love and passion for our party. We met here for several hours. Amongst the five persons that were contesting, the leadership of our party from North Central, we unanimously agreed to sponsor former Senate President, Dr Iyorchia Ayu to be national chairman of our party from the north central.

“There was no voting, we all agreed that he is the right person for this job at this time. Tomorrow (today) the northern stakeholders of our PDP are going to meet. So, he will be presented to the northern caucus of the party. I think that by the grace of God, they will also accept him,” Ortom stated.

He further explained that other zones were free to send their nominations.

Curiously, Ibrahim Shema has emerged as consensus candidate from North West. Six states endorsed him, while one supported Ahmed Makarfi.

The outgoing deputy national chairman, Suleiman Nazif is now the only candidate from North East. The entire North was expected to decide on one of the three as their sole candidate to the convention at their meeting last night, but which has now been moved to today.