From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
As presidential aspirants across political parties criss-cross the country seeking delegates support to scale through primaries, some PDP leaders have commenced frantic moves for the emergence of a consensus presidential candidate.
Daily Sun gathered that ahead of the May 28/29 PDP convention, some leaders and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) have been brainstorming on how to prune down the number of presidential aspirants.
Similarly, it was learnt that the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) at its last meeting, a fortnight ago, resolved to explore the possibility of a consensus candidate.
The presidential screening committee had cleared 15 aspirants including former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, former Secretary to Government of the Federation ( SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim; former Senate Bukola Saraki; Governors Nyesom Wike, Aminu Tambuwal, Bala Mohammed and Udom Emmanuel of Rivers, Sokoto, Bauchi and Akwa Ibom states, as well as former Anambra governor, Peter Obi.
Also cleared are former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose and publisher of Ovation Magazine, Dele Momodu, former president, Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN), Sam Ohuabunwa; investment banker, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen;Charles Ugwu; Chikwendu Kalu and Tareila Diana.
A highly placed source told Daily Sun that the party leaders canvasing the option of a consensus candidate have begin the evaluation of the 15 candidates on zonal basis on their competence, experience and acceptability across the country.
The party leaders have narrowed down their search to seven aspirants Atiku Abubakar,Bukola Saraki, Nyesom Wike, Peter Obi, Anyim Anyim, Bala Mohammed, Aminu Tambuwal, Udom Emmanuel.
The elders, it is believed, are of the view that only a candidate that meets these criteria, could win the 2023 presidential poll for the PDP.
“The plan is to push forward an individual that is not controversial and without political baggage. The leaders are recommending to the leadership of party to find a creative and wise way to redress the miss step of the party in not upholding the zoning and rotation principle clearly established in the constitution of the PDP. They also want the party to show leadership and a deep sense of appreciation of the composition of the Nigerian state as a multi ethnic nation,” the source stated.
Also, a member of the PDP NEC from the North Central confirmed to Daily Sun moves by some party leaders for a consensus candidate. He, however, said the leadership of the party was not yet involved in the move.
He said the party leadership was occupied with states, National Assemblies, and governorship primaries.
“After the primaries today, the party will shift attention to issues relating to consensus for the presidential ticket,” he said.