- We all agreed to abide by outcome-Saraki, Bala Mohammed
- Consensus process faulty, insists Tambuwal
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is facing a fresh crisis which if not addressed amicably, which may affect the party’s fortune in the 2023 general elections, barely as the party have five weeks to its Presidential convention.
The fresh crisis is not unconnected with the aftermath of the consensus initiative embarked upon by four Presidential aspirants of Northern extraction which Friday, produced former Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed as candidates while urging them to further engage in talks that could lead to one of them stepping down for the other.
While Saraki and Bala Mohammed have since commended the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida-led group for a job well done; Tambuwal has vowed not to have anything to do with it, even as he accused Saraki and Bala Mohammed of coming short of doing the right thing as mutually agreed on by the aspirants at the onset.
Newmen reliably gathered that the development has led to the National Working Committee, NWC, taking a decision to speak with the aspirants on the need to be careful of their utterances while going about their respective ambitions.
A NWC member confided in the newsmen that “the leadership of the party is disturbed by comments credited to our highly resourceful aspirants. They need to be talked to because we can’t allow them to continue this way.”
According to him, “the road to 2019 was not like this. If consensus will tear them apart, it will be better to avoid it. This week or next week, the chairman will convey a meeting with them where the interest of the party will be re-emphasized.
Meanwhile, the duo of Mohammed and Saraki have again insisted that the process leading to their emergence was not manipulated. This is even as they absolved General Babangida of tilting the process in their favour.
Spokesman of the Bala Mohammed Presidential Campaign Organization, Prof. Udenta Udenta in a release made available to journalists, Sunday said: “We wish to place it on record that Gen. Babangida never approached nor lobbied anybody to superintend the process that will lead to the emergence of a consensus Presidential aspirant. Rather it was the group of Presidential aspirants made up of Sen. Bala Mohammed, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal. Sen. Bukola Saraki and Alhaji Mohammed Hayatu-Deen that collectively, freely and willingly approached Gen Babangida to help select from amongst themselves a consensus Presidential aspirant.
“The above four named individuals not only initiated the consensus arrangement on their own volition but also agreed to fully and unequivocally abide by the decision that Gen. Babangida will arrive at in consultation with other elders as well as accept, honour the steps and procedures he will deploy in arriving at any decision.
Also speaking, media aide to Senator Saraki, Yusuph Olaniyonu described the emergence of the former Kwara state governor as one of the Northern consensus Presidential candidates as “a welcome development.”
The Sen. Bala Mohammed Campaign Organization will not join issues with anybody on the question of the consensus arrangement because the truth needs no further protection from its traducers but will rather press on in rallying the nation around its progressive “Nigeria First” governance vision on the heels of the successful execution of the consensus arrangement.
“The Campaign Organization, however advises all those who are not happy with the result of the selection process or who did not participate in it to focus on their individual political trajectories without let or hindrance and not muddy the political waters any further.
“It’s on record that the participants in the process toured the whole country together and reached out to critical political stakeholders in the party including its elected governors to explain the meaning and purpose of the arrangement and to seek their buy-in into the process if possible. It is commendable that South East Presidential aspirants have also acceded to this mode! and we wish them success in their current endeavors in this regard,” the statement read in part.
The Bauchi state governor further noted that “the search for consensus, unity, solidarity and shared vision among the PDP presidential aspirants is a worthy move and a patriotic venture that aims at reducing unnecessary tension, acrimony and unhealthy diatribe among competitors and restore back to our politics the culture of reaching common ground, the reduction of the politics of bitterness and the respect of all shades of political opinion.
“Even if the process doesn’t secure all of its set goals at the end of the day, meaning that every aspirant participates in the Presidential primaries, it would have imbibed in all aspirants the culture of placing the group above the self in the party’s shared vision of the future and in accepting the very results of the primary election.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Sen. Bala Mohammed will build on the success of the consensus arrangement and unfold his grand “Nigeria First” governance vision in the coming days and weeks. Building also on his successful consultations with wide ranging critical party holders including but not limited to the Forum of Former Ministers, NWC, Board of Trustees, the Nigerian Senate and House of Reps caucuses. He will reach out to every single party delegate and influencers- a process he has long initiated unabatedly.”