By Samuel Oyadongha & Emem Idio, Yenogoa
Three presidential aspirants on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP— former Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki; Governors of Sokoto and Bauchi States, Aminu Tambuwal and Bala Mohammed— yesterday, met with Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State in Government House, Yenagoa, as part of measures to push for a consensus candidate for the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Addressing the media after a close-door meeting with Governor Diri, Saraki, who spoke on behalf of the presidential hopefuls, expressed confidence that the party and aspirants would arrive at a consensus candidate.
According to Saraki, what informed the decision of the aspirants to advocate a consensus candidate among themselves was the desire by some presidential aspirants in the PDP to form a united front for the party to take over power from the All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2023. He pointed out that as an opposition party, the PDP cannot wrest power from the APC if it was not united.
According to him, the interest of Nigeria superseded their individual ambitions and that was why they embarked on the mission to consult the Bayelsa State governor and other critical stakeholders on how to reach a consensus on the flagbearer of the party in next year’s presidential election.
Describing the PDP as the only hope to rebuild and reposition the country, he noted that Nigeria was in bad shape and needed to be salvaged from the bad governance of the APC.
He said despite the propaganda by the ruling party, Nigerians were going through difficult times under the APC and that the only solution is for the PDP to retake power at the centre.
In his remarks, Diri urged PDP to forge a united front if the party wants to win the forthcoming election.
He insisted that the party must not be factionalised as a result of individual ambitions but rather come together to pursue the common purpose of winning the 2023 presidential election.
He promised to work for the success of the party at the polls and commended the aspirants for putting their individual interests aside for the good of the party.
He added: “One thing that I will assure you is that the state chapter here is prepared to work assiduously for the unity of our party, to take over the reins of governance and give to Nigerians what we were giving them before the destruction of the country by the party in power.”