Paul Orude, Bauchi
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has denied speculation that it has abandoned former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s presidential bid and initiated moves to replace him with a serving northern governor ahead of 2023.
National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Uche Secondus stated this shortly after the leadership of the party, including the Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Nazif Sulieman Gamawa, had a closed-door meeting with some PDP governors in Bauchi.
Those who attended the meeting were governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Taibuwal; former president of the Senate, Mr David Mark; former governor of Gombe State, Hassan Ibrahim Dankwambo and host Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State. The meeting was held at the Presidential Lodge, also known as Ramat House, Bauchi, on Friday night.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, which lasted for hours, Secondus said: “A few hours ago we arrived in Bauchi and met with our hardworking governor. We are here on a solidarity visit and during this visit we held very useful discussions with the PDP governors and the governor of Bauchi State.”
Prodded to react to stories making the rounds, Secondus denied that the party had abandoned Atiku’s presidency, assuring that all aspirants would be given a level playing field in the primaries to elect the party’s flag bearer in 2023.
“This party is very democratic. There is no room for discrimination. Everyone who is qualified, both young and old, governors and non-governors, is qualified, and will have the opportunity to contest and we have the space for everyone. If you win you become our candidate.”
He further affirmed that the party would stick to its zoning system in electing its leaders, stating that it has been enshrined in the party’s constitution. He added that the modalities would be revealed to the public at the right time.
On his own part, Governor Tambuwal while commenting on armed banditry ravaging the North West, revealed that the situation had improved in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, while Katsina remained under siege.
Tambuwal called on President Muhammadu Buhari to deploy information communication technology in the fight against banditry, insurgency, kidnapping and other crimes ravaging parts of the country.
“The situation is sad because bandits are carrying out atrocities and killing innocent people. The situation is improving in Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi states but the situation is getting worse in Katsina. I call on the president to take decisive steps to recruit more, competent, qualified security personnel. Let it be urgent,” Tambuwal said.