From Fred Itua, Abuja
Plans by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders and stakeholders from the North, to settle for a consensus candidate, ahead of the 2023 presidential election, is shaky, Daily Sun authoritatively reports.
There are plots by some elements to scuttle the plans because it is not going their way .
The consensus move, championed by Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), earlier zeroed in on Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal; former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed; and former banker, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, as possible anointed scribe.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, from the onset, opposed any consensus arrangement. Instead, he has repeatedly insisted that the candidate of the PDP should emerge through indirect primaries.
Daily Sun gathered from multiple sources that the consensus push by Northern elders, led by Ango Abdullahi, may have settled for Saraki, ahead of Tambuwal, Mohammed and Hayatu-Deen.
The source said the leaders ruled out North West, thereby knocking off Tambuwal. They equally urged Bauchi governor to seek for a second term. Hayatu-Deen was knocked off leaving Saraki as the favourite.
The source said the move has unsettled the Tambuwal camp who is unwilling to accept the verdict of the elders to step down for Saraki.
“Tambuwal is not ready to step down. He actually started the whole push for a consensus move, but he could not win . He is not taking it well and that’s a problem.
“The argument of the elders is that Tambuwal is from a neighbouring state with Buhari. The elders didn’t want to have any issue. They also believe that Bala Mohammed is better off to return as governor and complete his two terms . Hayatu-Deen is not known within the political circle.
“For them, Saraki with a good running mate from the South, will give a good fight and win. In the South, he will be accepted. The North will accept him if he is the only major candidate from the North.
Following the decision of the committee, some people have commenced plots to smear the move and stop the organisers from announcing the winner
“The the consensus arrangement is shaky . Tambuwal is teaming up with Nyesom Wike. Wike has reached out to him and they’ve settled their differences”, the source said.
Meanwhile, Wike’s camp said he is gaining momentum in key Northern chapters of the PDP and may emerge as candidate of the party.
He said: “If Wike wins the primaries, Tambuwal maybe his running mate. As I speak, they have started working together and that combination is a big threat any other aspirant, including Atiku.
The source said the unveiling of Saraki, barring any last minute change, may be announced this weekend.
On the flipside, Southern PDP aspirants are also divided on a consensus arrangement. Already, over 10 aspirants from the South, are gunning for the PDP ticket.
The two leading aspirants from the South, Peter Obi and Wike are opposed to any consensus arrangement. They’re pushing for an open contest, where a clear candidate will emerge.