PDP Consensus: Gov Bala Replies Lamido, Says He’s Entitled To His Opinion

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Senator Bala Mohammed


By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi

Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed has said that the former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido is entitled to his own opinion on the just concluded consensus exercise among PDP presidential aspirants where himself  and Senator Bukola Saraki emerged as consensus candidates for the PDP ahead of the 2023 polls.

“I have tremendous respect for Alhaji Sule Lamido as a former governor and who is leading PDP former governors. He is entitled to his opinion; I did not know what the Northern elders used or who they have contacted to come up with the consensus”. He said.

Governor Bala, who was at the weekend in Bauchi, fielding journalists’ questions, said, “It’s a pity if Lamido was not consulted or contacted, but certainly he is not the only person in Northern Nigeria, and those that were contacted have done the job on his behalf because such a responsibility is always done on behalf of others”.

It would be recalled that the former Jigawa State governor had shortly after the statement by the Northern Political Establishment that Governor Bala Mohammed and Senator Bukola Saraki have been shortlisted as the consensus candidates of the PDP, said that nothing like such decision was ever reached, but rather it was the opinion of those who issued the statement

The statement in which Governor Bala Mohammed and immediate past Senate President, Abubakar Saraki were endorsed, was signed by former Vice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Prof Ango Abdullahi on behalf of the Northern political establishment, led by Nigeria’s former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd).

The Northern Elders Forum had made thorough consultations with leaders and stakeholders across the country before endorsing Governor Bala Mohammed and former Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki as the Northern presidential aspirants of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Ango said that Northern Elders led by former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), have shortlisted two presidential aspirants on the platform of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Bukola Saraki and Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, out of which one will be presented as possible consensus candidate of the North in the coming 2023 presidential election.

“Four presidential aspirants from the North including Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and a former bank chief, Mohammed Hayatu-deen, opted for a consensus arrangement ahead of the PDP primaries. Another prominent presidential aspirant and PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 elections, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, did not commit himself to the arrangement, opting for a primary election”.

The report signed by a former ABU Zaria Vice Chancellor and chairman of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Prof. Ango Abdullahi recalled that the four major presidential aspirants in PDP met and decided to limit the number of aspirants from Northern Nigeria by forming a consensus among themselves.

“The process was conducted in three stages or phases, namely candidates’ assignment, zonal assessment and PDP previous experience. Consequently, Saraki and Bala Mohammed were ranked top with 10 votes each, while Tambuwal and Hayatu-deen came behind the duo with seven and five votes respectively based on candidates’ assessment”, Ango said.

“In the first phase, the opinions of six distinguished persons each from the three geopolitical zones were sought with regards to each of the four aspirants. Each of the zonal delegates were allocated two votes to choose the first and second choice making a total of 36 votes overall.

“One of the elders deferred his votes on grounds of continuing consultations with traditional rulers and other major stakeholders.Two members did not cast their second ballots bringing the total to 32 votes cast out of 36,” he explained.

Prof. Abdullahi further explained that the next phase involved opinion based on regions which was concluded in favour of North-Central, where Saraki hails from, with eight votes. North-East got seven votes, while North-West came distant third with two votes.

Governor Bala Mohammed explained that Sule Lamido is entitled to his own opinion, and they respect him, stressing “But certainly, even if he did not endorse us, others have endorsed us”.

Mohammed added, “I for one, I’m offering myself with all humility. I know I am not the best, the best might not even have step out, and the recognition by the Northern Elders Forum is giving me some added impetus”.

Senator Bala Mohammed further stated that with this golden opportunity afforded him, he would crisscross the country to look for delegates with a view to emerge as the next presidential candidate of the PDP, and subsequently President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria comes 2023 by the grace of God.

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