- The leadership of the PDP including the governors reportedly held a meeting with the party’s presidential aspirants
- The chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Fayose, reportedly said that the party would prefer a consensus candidate if the aspirants can agree
- None of the aspirants, however, agrees on consensus candidate
The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, and governors elected on the platform of the party met with those that had indicated interest to run for the Presidency in the party in Abuja on Tuesday, September 11.
The Punch reports that the meeting was held at the private residence of the governor of Ekiti state, who is also the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Ayodele Fayose.
Legit.ng gathered that aspirants who were at the meeting were the president of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki; the governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Tambuwal, and a former president of the Senate, Senator David Mark.
Also at the meeting were a former governor of Plateau state, Senator Jona Jang; a former governor of Kaduna state, Senator Ahmed Makarfi; a former governor of Kano state, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed.
The remaining four aspirants who were also present were a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar; a former governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Sule Lamido; a former governor of Sokoto state, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, and a former minister of special duties and inter-governmental relations, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki (SAN).
The governor of Gombe state, Ibrahim Dankwambo, was said to be absent from the meeting.
The meeting was reportedly at the instance of the governors.
The newspaper reports that the governors took the decision to invite the aspirants for discussions at their meeting which was held on Sunday, September 9.
The Tuesday meeting, which was reportedly presided over by Fayose, also agreed that Secondus would be in attendance.
Sources at the meeting said that Fayose, who recently announced that he had dropped his presidential ambition because of the alleged robbing of the PDP candidate in the Ekiti State governorship election by the All Progressives Congress, started the discussion.
He was said to have told the aspirants on the need to work together and have a common front ahead of the primary, which had been fixed for October 5 and 6.
He also reportedly implored the aspirants to accept the outcome of the primary in good faith, and that whoever won would be supported by all, including those that lost.
Though it was said that Fayose said that it would have been better if the aspirants could work together and produce a consensus presidential candidate, he was, however, said that the governors would not impose that decision on them.
A source at the meeting reportedly said: “It was a family gathering where all those present voiced out their mind on the need to have a credible and acceptable presidential primary.
“Fayose, who with Secondus presided over the meeting, was very calm and told the aspirants that what should be paramount to them all is how to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari and not the individual ambition of the aspirants.”
“He also told them that the party would have preferred a consensus arrangement, but still informed them that such was not binding on them. He said it was the right of anyone who had picked forms to take part in the presidential primary.
“But he begged the aspirants to work together at the end of the primary.”
Secondus reportedly assured the governors and the aspirants that the members of the National Working Committee of the party had no favourite aspirant among the aspirants.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Senator Eme Ekaette, representing Akwa Ibom South senatorial zone and former state deputy governor, Valerie Ebe, on Tuesday, September 11, defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Others who defected from the PDP to the APC are retired deputy inspector general of police, Udom Ekpoudom, and former chairman of Eka local government, Francis Ikpon.
The state chairman of APC, Ini Okpobodi, received the defectors at a solidarity district rally and reception held for Obong Nsima Ekere at Eket.
Okpobodi said at the occasion that the PDP had virtually collapsed in the state.
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