- Abubakar Bukola Saraki has stated that all the northern presidential aspirants under the PDP are committed to the unity of the party
- The former Senate President made the statement when he led three other aspirants to meet Governor Ifeanyi Okowa
- Saraki said the presidential hopefuls wants to foster a strong sense of camaraderie and unity as the PDP presidential primary draws near
Asaba - Former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said all Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential hopefuls from the north were working for a consensus candidate to foster desired unity in the country.
Saraki disclosed this in Delta state on Monday, April 4 when he led other aspirants, on a consultative visit to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa at Government House, Asaba.
The delegation included Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Bala Mohammed of Bauchi, and former Managing Director of FSB International Bank Plc, Alhaji Mohammad Hayatu-Deen.
He said that Nigeria was in dire need of competent leaders to reverse the country's slide into poverty, insecurity, and anarchy.
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He stated that Nigeria was the largest economy in Africa under the PDP, but regretted that the country was now the poverty and kidnapping capital of the world under the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government.
He called on stakeholders of the party to support a consensus arrangement to ensure that the party remained united and able to rescue the country from maladministration.
"We had a very useful discussion with the governor; we have decided to come as four of us who are aspiring to be president on the PDP platform.
"Your Excellency, you know your reputation for the PDP and the country is always first in your mind, and ever since when there is an assignment that has to do with ensuring unity of the party you have always been called upon.
"That's why we are here to meet with you and share with you what we have been trying to do.
"The four of us have been meeting and we came up with this idea that in the interest of the party, that we should come together and look at a consensus arrangement.
"This is important because we believe that the country needs unity. We are all eminently qualified to lead this country but we believe that only one person will lead and that person needs everybody to make Nigeria better and to fix this country."
Responding, Okowa thanked the visitors for coming to intimate him on their plans and said that consensus candidacy was indeed in the best interest of the unity of the party and the country.
He underscored the importance of building consensus to solve the current challenges bedeviling the nation.
"I truly want to welcome you to Delta state. I have listened to you and the fact that you have started to meet together to think of the best way possible for us to get out of the very difficult situation we have found ourselves as a country is very heart-warming.
"I thank you for putting yourselves together to educate the rest of us from across various states on the need for us to build a consensus.
"I believe that it will reduce acrimony and help to position us as a party in order to help to compete favourably and win the 2023 elections.''
2023: Atiku too old to lead Nigeria, says Activists
Meanwhile, some civil society organisations have declared that they would not support any aged candidate for the presidency in the 2023 general elections.
They spoke against the backdrop of the declaration of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who declared to contest for the presidency under the PDP in the forthcoming elections.
One of such activisits, Dare-Ariyo Atoye, said that Nigeria could not afford to have a repeat of the Muhammadu Buhari-led regime by voting Abubakar come 2023.
Obasanjo to Nigerians: Don’t vote aspirants claiming youths bought forms for them
In a related development, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked Nigerians not to vote for presidential aspirants claiming that some political or youth groups bought their nomination forms for them.
Obasanjo made the comment in Lagos during a colloquium to mark the 61st birthday of Pastor Itua Ighodalo saying:
“Anybody who would come out to tell you such a lie, you shouldn’t vote for him. Which youths gathered N40million? If you want to buy it, buy it and tell us. You don’t need to lie to us.”