Some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the North-central zone have resolved to present a consensus candidate for the 2019 presidential elections.
They said it was time for the zone to produce the next president of Nigeria as it has competent, capable and experienced aspirants that can improve the fortune of the country and her people.
According to a statement by the Director General of Bukola Saraki Presidential Campaign Organization, Wakil Mohammed, the resolution was taken at a meeting held Wednesday evening at Grand Ibro Hotel in Abuja.
While the choice of who the consensus aspirant from the zone will be is yet to be decided, the PDP leaders agreed to engage their counterparts in other geopolitical zones with a view to convincing them to support the consensus aspirants that will be produced by the North-central.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who addressed leaders from the region, stressed that the region has been a stabilising factor in Nigeria, and from previous experience, it is clear that its leaders have the capacity and will-power to unite and develop Nigeria.
Mr Saraki also said leaders from the North-central have demonstrated great capacity to lead and that they have always performed well on national assignments.
“In the last three years, we have struggled and worked to keep the legislature working for the Nigerian people. We need to now lead the country in the right direction. We must create a country that gives opportunity for people to thrive. We need good leadership.
“This is because many of the problems that this country is facing is as a result of low performance capacity. We need people who can search for and find the solutions to our problems. We need somebody who can make the country grow, and I believe, that I am this person.
“Nigerians need a unifier – somebody who can unite the country and grow the country. At this time, I believe that it is a presidential candidate from the North-central that can do this for Nigeria,” he said.
He also called for unity among the leaders of the party.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, the North-central vice chairman of the party, Theophilus Shan, stated that the leaders are a powerful conglomerate that believes in the unity and stability of Nigeria.
“We have seen how David Mark held the Senate together for eight years, in the same way that Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has shown courage, leadership and competence in stabilising the 8th Senate over the past three years — which has helped it to record significant achievements. Saraki is representing the North Central region very well,” he said.
The meeting had in attendance party leaders from the region, which consisted of former governors, former and serving legislators, members of the business community and the academia.
At present, there are about 14 members of the party jostling for its presidential ticket ahead of its national convention in October.
Of the 14 aspirants, only Mr Saraki, as well as two senators, Jonah Jang and David Mark, are from the North-central.
It is, however, not clear if Messrs Mark and Jang were present at the meeting and in agreement with the resolution.
When contacted, Mr Mark’s spokesman, Paul Mumeh, declined comment and referred this reporter to the PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, for answers.
Mr Ologbondiyan’s number was, however, not available.
Also, efforts to talk to Mr Jang’s spokesperson, Clinton Garuba, were unsuccessful as he too could not be reached on phone.