Different interest groups in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have sparked a fresh row in the party over Friday’s endorsement of former Senate President Bukola Saraki and Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed as North’s consensus candidates in next month’s primaries of the party by PDP Northern Elders and former military president Ibrahim Babangida.
One of the party’s four presidential candidates that mooted the idea of consensus, Alhaji Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, yesterday joined Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal in rejecting the elders’ decision.
Like Tambuwal, he vowed to forge ahead with his aspiration and test his popularity during the primaries.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said he had never been part of the consensus deal while former Jigawa State governor Sule Lamido told the elders off, saying their action was not in the best interest of the generality of Northerners whose cause they claimed to be fighting.
The Hayatu-Deen Campaign Organisation declared that the process of arriving at a consensus candidate had collapsed in the first place and branded the Professor Ango Abdullahi committee that handled the process as ‘completely faceless’ and its evaluation criteria “totally subjective.”
The Director General of the campaign organisation, Lamis Shehu Dikko, said in a statement that Alhaji Hayatu-Deen had decided that his campaign “will now be undertaken independently to maintain the sanctity and integrity of the Peoples Democratic Party.”
He said: “For the record, we would like to state that the process of arriving at a consensus candidate had collapsed. The candidates involved could not reach a compromise amongst themselves, resulting in the decision of our principal, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, and Governor Aminu Tambuwal to discontinue the process.
“The announcement we witnessed yesterday (Friday) was not based on the principles of equity and transparency, which we believe should lead the country and the party into the future.
“The committee constituted by Prof. Ango Abdullahi is completely faceless and the evaluation criteria are totally subjective.
“It seems to us that this entire charade was designed to achieve a preconceived outcome.
“The focus of our candidate, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, is to prove to our great party and Nigerians in general that he is the best man for the job as we proceed towards a truly democratic process at the PDP primaries.
“We believe that the lack of consensus amongst the Prof. Ango Abdullahi-led effort and the politicking of other candidates should not jeopardise the electoral success of the Peoples Democratic Party or threaten the peace and prosperity of Nigeria.
“Mohammed Hayatu-Deen is a business professional with years of experience leading successful organisations that have provided jobs and opportunities for millions of Nigerians.
“He is a man who understands the pains and sufferings of the average Nigerian and has a plan to return our great nation to prosperity.
“Mohammed Hayatu-Deen wants to build a Nigeria that works for everybody. He is the best candidate for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Credit: The Nation