2023: Search for Northern consensus candidate sets Atiku, Saraki, Tambuwal apart

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The one time united North for the search for a nationally acceptable candidate from the region to be voted as Nigeria President in the forthcoming 2023 Presidential election on the platform of the People Democratic Party – PDP has a collision with a brick wall on Friday as the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Aminu Tambuwal, the sitting Governor of Sokoto State rejected the decisions of the Northern Elders Forum led by the former Vice Chancellor of Amadu Bello University, Prof. Ango Abdullahi picked former Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki and Bauchi State Governor Bala Muhamed as consensus candidates for the region.

The search for a “Consensus Candidate” from the North was initiated on Sunday 20th March 2022, when the trio of Bukola Saraki, Aminu Tambuwal and Bala Muhamed met in Bauchi State to find a workable solution to agree that one aspirant from Northern extraction flies the People Democratic Party flag on May 28h and 29th Primaries of the Party.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who is one of the contenders in the region did not attend the Bauchi consensus build up meeting, protested for being sidelined in the arrangement.

Meanwhile Saraki, Tambuwal and Muhamed has been touring other regions of the country to lobby party stakeholders and Governors to buy into the consensus model of producing the Presidential flag-bearer against the opposition.

But Saraki, Tambuwal and Muhamed relationship was severed on Friday when the Northern Elder Forum settled for Saraki and Muhamed, thus meaning that Atiku and Tambuwal should forget about their Presidential ambition as the North will not support by any of them.

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The Forum further directed Bukola Saraki and Bala Muhamed to meet and agree between both of them who will be the actual candidate from the North.

While the Forum is awaiting for the outcome of Saraki/Muhamed meeting, Atiku and Tambuwal have outrightly rejected the resolutions of Prof Ango Abdullahi led meeting.

Still holding forth to his Presidential ambition, Atiku who expressed his rejection of the Northern Elders Forum through TEECOM his technical campaign organization said:

“Atiku did not subject himself to any purported consensus arrangement.

“Therefore, he is not bound by any of the recommendations and conclusions of the purported report.

“Waziri Atiku Abubakar as a nationalist strongly believes that Nigeria has never been so divided as it is today, and any regional, zonal, ethno-religious gang up or consensus-driven in this manner will further deepen and widen the wounds that urgently require to be healed.

“He is anxious to implement plans, policies and programmes that will rescue and rebuild Nigeria

“Finally, we urge our supporters to continue with consultations and town hall meetings with delegates across the country as the party prepares for the presidential primaries scheduled for Saturday/ Sunday May 28 and 29, 2022,” he said.

Also the Governor of Sokoto State Aminu Tambuwal who is favoured in Minna meeting which produced a consensus candidates from the North rejected the recommendations of the meeting in a Press Statement signed by the Director of Tambuwal Campaign Organisation (TCO), Nicholas Msheliza.

The Press State appeals to Nigerians to discountenance reports that Saraki and Mohammed have emerged consensus candidates. In furtherance of Tambuwal stance, the Campaign Organizations said:

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“The attention of Tambuwal Campaign Organization (TCO) has been drawn to a news item that former Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Gov. Bala Muhammad of Bauchi state have emerged as consensus candidates from amongst the four of us announced at a meeting in Minna, Niger state.

“This is, to be candid and forthright, not correct. The correct situation is that the team met on Wednesday 20th April, 2022, at Bauchi Governor’s lodge in Abuja and had a review meeting; and, unanimously agreed that the consensus arrangement was not working.

“The team further agreed that Sen. Saraki should come up with a draft statement on how to communicate this decision to the Nigerian public. This was the last time that members of the team sat and mutually agreed on anything. The proposed meeting to review and vet the statement scheduled for 10 pm of the same day was aborted unilaterally by Sen. Saraki via a WhatsApp message.

“However, on Thursday, 21st, 2022, same Sen Saraki circulated yet another WhatsApp message suggesting that members of the team should head to Minna for a meeting on Friday.

“Gov. Tambuwal reached other members of the team and informed them that he stands by the decision of the team that the initiative is not working. This is the reason Gov. Tambuwal was absent at today’s (Friday) meeting in Minna.

“As a result therefore, the outcome of the Minna meeting has no consequence or any implication on the aspiration of Gov. Tambuwal, who had earlier on informed his colleagues of maintaining their agreed position that the initiative has collapsed.

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“Members of the public should be reminded that what was canvassed for was a consensus candidate and not consensus candidates.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Gov Tambuwal has submitted his Presidential nomination forms and now that the quest for a consensus candidate out of the four has clearly collapsed, will go ahead and face screening and indeed contest the PDP presidential primaries.

“This is in consonance with his acclaimed outlook as a pan-Nigerian candidate, with pedigree of national service as the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, life member of the Body of Benchers and now in his second and final term as Governor of Sokoto state.”

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About Samuel Abasiekong 808 Articles
Samuel Abasiekong, Senior Journalist, Newspaper Publisher, Author of many literature text books, French-English, English-French languages Translator and Interpreter, Multi-sectoral Counsellor & Consultant, National Convener of National Public Interest Group - NPIG, Secretary Uyo Division of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, News Editor & Reporter @ 9News Nigeria www.9newsng.com www.facebook.com/9NewsNG

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