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Stakeholders from the 19 Northern States in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have rejected the choice of Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State and immediate past President of Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, as consensus Presidential aspirants from the zone.

Alleging foul play, the stakeholders noted that the purported position of the Northern Elders “is not only injurious to the North but equally injurious to the Northern aspirants.”

In a statement, Saturday, signed by immediate past Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, which was made available to The Guardian, the Northern PDP leaders stated: “The attention of key stakeholders of the PDP in the Northern States has been drawn to reports in the media purporting that some Northern Elders have shortlisted two of our prominent and deserving aspirants as consensus PDP Presidential candidates.”

The stakeholders explained that having widely consulted party leaders across the 19 Northern states and FCT (Federal Capital Territory), we hereby inform “our teeming party members and the general public that what is reported in the media is only the private opinions of those who issued the statement and not the position of the PDP members in the North.”

The northern stakeholders explained that discussions are still ongoing with and among all the Presidential aspirants in our party with a view to having a national consensus if possible or, at least, working towards having a smooth acrimony-free national convention.

While accusing those who released the purported shortlist of consensus aspirants from the north of breaching the due process, the northern PDP stakeholders maintained that the so-called position of Northern Elders was a calculated attempt to damage the fortunes of Northern aspirants.

Checks by The Guardian revealed that while the broader Northern PDP stakeholders were working towards streamlining the number of Presidential aspirants from the North, the decision by the Northern elders to exclude Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from the shortlist sparked outrage within the northern caucus.

Sources within the northern PDP stakeholders confided in The Guardian that the general impression among the Northern PDP stakeholders was that governors Aminu Tambuwal and Bala Mohammed should be pushed forward in line with the plot among the governors that one of them should emerge the PDP standard-bearer.

“We cannot understand why the name of Saraki should come in instead of Tambuwal when it is obvious that a candidate from North Central would not produce the massive votes needed to defeat the other party,” the source stated.

Governor Tambuwal has already rejected the consensus list, insisting that he should be counted out of the charade, even as former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, also made it clear from the onset that he was not a
party to the consensus arrangement.

The Guardian gathered that the urge to adopt consensus from among the northern Presidential aspirants came up in view of the fact that while the Southern PDP has eight state governors, their northern counterparts control only four states, including Bauchi, Benue, Sokoto and Taraba.