PDP Presidential Candidacy: Northern Consensus Candidates not unilateral – Bala Mohammed
BY BEN NWACHUKWU, ABUJA
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential hopeful and Bauchi State Governor Senator Bala Mohammed, has said the decision by former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida and Professor Ango Abdullahi, to settle for him and Senator Bukola Saraki as the consensus presidential candidates of the north was not a unilateral decision as alleged.
Mohammed, while shading more light on the consensus report said the committee empaneled by Babangida and handed over to Abdullahi to implement was in consultation with almost all the PDP governors, both in the south and the North.
Spokesperson of the Bala Mohammed Campaign, Prof. Udenta Udenta, said, “The outcome of the report that said Bala Mohammed and senator Bukola Saraki are consensus presidential aspirants for the north was not unilateral. It was the outcome of serious consultations. Governors in the north and south were consulted and their opinions taken into consideration.
“It was not a unilateral decision. It is a question of a bad loser. If not, both Babangida and Ango Abdullahi would have spoken. They have spoken and the world have heard and they are watching.
“You don’t expect them to be binding words about. They have spoken through their report and it is expected for all concerned to adhere to the report of the committee. Their report was based on consensus and consultations.
“Senator Bala Mohammed and Abubakar Saraki emerged as the consensus aspirants without undermining the integrity of the other contestants, who are free to pursue their political ambition to the best of their ability, including other individuals, who do not participate in the consensus arrangement, who of course are not bound by this decisions.
“The consensus arrangement among these four was not an end in itself, but a means to an end,” he said.
Prof. Udenta also said if the South East is not considered in the zoning arrangement, he would continue to support a progressive northerner like Bala Muhammed, who is going to help mainstream his people in an inclusive governance model.
He said: “No South East son or daughter will encourage the sustenance and maintenance of Southwest hegemony. Rather, I will look for progressive Northerner like Bala Muhammed, who is going to help mainstream my people in an inclusive governance model.”
He pointed out that “zoning from the North to the South is fraudulent, is perfidious, and is a grand deception.
“It means nothing because you can use that to do what makes it even impossible for the South East to seek and get the presidency.”
He noted that politicians from the South East have been supporting other zones, adding that the zones that have had a go in the presidency shouldn’t come out this time.
Specifically, he said that Bola Tinubu and Yemi Osinbajo, who are from South West shouldn’t indicate interest in contesting.
“Bola Ahmed Tinubu has no business being in this business, neither is Osinbanjo or anybody from the Southwest. That zone must be denied its claim on the Presidency this time around. So also is the South-south, Wike and the rest of them.
“Jonathan was the Vice President for two and a half years and the President for almost five and a half years. Osibanjo is Vice President for seven years still counting. Obasanjo was President for eight years.
“So if you don’t zone to the Southeast, you have zoned nothing. And therefore liberated intellectually, philosophically or strategically, to look for a progressive Northerner, who can include the South-east in the compensation for power.
“Critical thinkers have followed in that direction. Atiku said so himself that he will not campaign further if the South-south and South-west relinquish their claim and give it to the Southeast. Nobody spoke, nobody talked.
“So if for any reason, there will not be any South-easterners on the ticket of the two major parties, the choice open to you is, do we continue with Nigeria? Or do you now do something else? I will continue with Nigeria. I don’t know any other country.
“From 1967, the alliance between Gowon and Awolowo has cemented the hegemony of the Northwest and the Southwest.”