Leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the North-Central zone have resolved to present a consensus candidate for the forthcoming 2019 Presidential Elections. They also said the time was ripe for the zone to produce the next President of Nigeria since it has competent, capable and experienced aspirants that can improve the fortune of the country and her people.
The resolution was taken at a meeting held Wednesday evening at Grand Ibro Hotel, Abuja, attended by party leaders from the region, which consisted of former governors, former and serving legislators, members of the business community and the academia, where they were briefed by Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on his intention to seek the Office of the President.
However, the leaders said that the choice of who the consensus aspirant from the zone will be was yet to be decided.
The PDP leaders from the region also emphasised that it was the turn of the North Central region to produce the President of Nigeria, while also mandating the leaders to engage their counterparts in other geopolitical zones with a view to convincing them to support the consensus aspirants that will be produced by from the North-central.
Speaking to the leaders from the region, Saraki, stated that the North Central region has been a stabilising factor in Nigeria, and from previous experience, it was clear that its leaders have the capacity and willp-power to unite and develop Nigeria.
“Our zone has been the stabilising factor in Nigeria for many years, and it is clear that we need to continue to fight for the soul of our nation. The 2019 polls is not just an election, it is about winning the soul of Nigeria. Right now, to me, and I’m sure to all the other contestants under the umbrella of our great party, nothing is more important than for us than to rescue our people from the clutch of poverty, insecurity and ensure that we bring development to all Nigerians.
“As we move forward, we all need to be courageous. We must provide compassionate leadership for our people. We must protect our people. We must give them live and hope. Our people are asking: “What did we do wrong?” Therefore, right now, we need to be courageous. We must provide competent and compassionate leadership for this country,” the Senate President said.
Saraki also emphasised that leaders from the North Central have demonstrated great capacity to lead, saying 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,” the former Kwara State Governor added.
The Senate President called for the leaders to rally around individuals who have a track record of providing competent and united leadership, stating that a candidate from the North Central would help to bridge the divides across the nation.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this country will only change when those who know what to do are put in charge and when we have the good leadership who know what needs to be done to make the right change. 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.
“Leaders from the North Central need to work together to ensure that a PDP candidate emerges from the zone. It is clear that the only way to achieve unity in the country is when you have a leader who can manage the differences and galvanise our energy towards achieving development.
It is not about where you come from, but it is about what you can do for our country. If there is anybody who can do better than those of us in the North Central Zone, let them stand up. It is important that in October, our delegates from the North Central should work to ensure that a North Central candidate emerges – and they should work together with delegates from across the country to ensure that a North Central candidate emerges.We request your support,” he said.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, the zonal vice chairman of the North-Central, Mr. Theophilus Dakah Shan, agreed that it was true that the North Central serves as a cardinal point for where Nigeria will go.
“Although we are called a conglomerate of minority groups, we 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 stated.
In his closing remarks, former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, said that the North Central region had to unite, because the insecurity in the country is felt most in the zone.