Former Senate President Bukola Saraki and Bauchi State governor Bala Mohammed are to be presented as northern consensus candidates ahead of the People’s Democratic Party presidential primary.
The decision was a part of the recommendations of a committee set up by four major northern presidential aspirants in PDP to form a consensus among themselves.
Sokoto State governor Aminu Tambuwal and Mohammed Hayatudeen are the other aspirants that set up the committee.
“It was resolved that a leading aspirant from the North Central and one from the North East are to be presented as northern presidential candidates,” Professor Ango Abdullahi, who chaired the committee, said in a report.
“The two would, in turn, be required to make further concessions so that, in the end, one of them would be presented as the consensus candidate, out of the four that presented themselves from the North.”
“For the purpose of this exercise, it is hereby resolved that Gov Bala Mohammad from the North East and former Senate President Bukola Saraki from the North Central be presented as the northern Consensus Candidates for the moment.”
Professor Abdullahi said the decision to present Saraki and Mohammed was reached at the end of the three-phase screening exercise.
He said former Nigerian Head of State General Ibrahim Babangida advised the four aspirants to reach a consensus and that the recommendations of his report were submitted to and “endorsed and approved” by the former Nigerian leader.
In the first phase, 36 zonal delegates were asked to vote for the aspirants of their choice among the four.
Saraki and Mohammed led the pack with 10 votes each while Tambuwal and Hayatu-deen scored 7 and 5 votes respectively.
Two delegates abstained while one deferred his vote.
In the second round of screening, North Central, where Saraki is from, was favoured the most, scoring 8 votes. Mohammed and Hayatu-deen’s North East came second with 7. Tambuwal’s North West had only two votes.
The historical antecedent of the PDP with regards to previous northern aspirations was taken into consideration in the third phase of the screening. North Central was favoured since it has not produced any presidential candidate since the inception of the PDP in the Fourth Republic.