NIGERIA’S main opposition the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has revealed that it will soon commence consulting its members as to who will be the best person to select as its 2023 presidential candidate.
Between 1999 and 2015, the PDP enjoyed 16 uninterrupted years of being ion office but has lost the last two elections to President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC). With elections due in 2023, the PDP is desperate to regain office and according to Senator Walid Jibrin, the chairman of the party’s board of trustees, it will soon commence high-level consultations and search for a credible candidate.
According to Senator Jubrin, every interested and eligible member of the party from any part of Nigeria was free to aspire for the presidency under the PDP platform. When asked whether former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, could end up being the agreed candidate, he said Alhaji Abubakar, like every other Nigerian, could still contest if he so wished.
Senator Jubrin said: “Atiku is a Nigerian. Has he really failed in that election as the case went from the tribunal to the appeal court and up to the Supreme Court. If Atiku wants, he has the right to do so and other people have the right to do so.
“On the presidential candidate, the national working committee, in consultation with all relevant organs of the party, will reveal the plan for coming up with our presidential candidate. I don’t think there is anything wrong to allow anybody from any zone to show interest but our collective decision will bring out an agreeable candidate.
He added that the party was also making the necessary moves to reconcile the governors of Rivers State, Nyesome Wike and his Bayelsa State counterpart, Seriake Dickson. Earlier this week, the rift between the two south-south governors took a twist when Governor Wike rejected PDP intervention in the matter.
Senator Jubrin said the board of trustees would intercede in order to put its house in order ahead of the 2023 general elections. He also admonished party members to stay away from hate speech and avoid abusive languages among members and non-members alike.