PDP to screen Atiku, Tambuwal, others for presidential race

The Peoples Democratic Party has said it would screen all aspirants jostling for its presidential ticket. The aspirants are former vice president Atiku Abubakar; Sokoto governor, Aminu Tambuwal; his Bauchi counterpart, Bala Mohammed, and former president of Senate, Bukola Saraki.

Others include Rivers state governor, Nyesome Wike; former governors Peter Fayose, Peter Obi; and, Pius Ayim Pius.

The party’s decision means it is opposed to calls, including from governors elected under its auspices, to zone its presidential ticket to the south.

Debo Ologunagba, the PDP national publicity secretary, confirmed the party’s decision.

“Our processes, our constitution are subject to the constitution of Nigeria. The constitution guarantees every qualified Nigerian be able to aspire to any position in this country. The party cannot stop anybody from contesting because that will be at variance with the constitution,” Ologunagba was quoted to have said.

He reportedly cited a precedent in 1999, where despite the PDP zoning its presidency contest to the south had former Kano governor, Abubakar Rimi joining the race. Rimi, now deceased, had insisted on contesting despite the party apparatchik favouring former military rule, General Olusegun Obasanjo. (retd).

Obasanjo, emerging from prison on trumped-up charges of planning a coup, became the party’s flagbearer and went on to win the race.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the decision, Valentine Obienyem, the media aide to presidential hopeful Peter Obi, said he would have wished the party restricted the contest to aspirants from the southeast.

TheCornet had reported how the PDP inaugurated a special committee, headed by Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, to recommend on the agitation for power shift to the south.

The Ortom Committee reportedly suggested that the party jettison zoning and would have its report vetted by the party’s National Working Committee next Wednesday.


source: PUNCH

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