The North West has been ruled out of the forthcoming Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary contest by a committee on consensus candidate set up by former military president General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd).
It was gathered yesterday from a source close to the former leader in Minna that the committee in its report to IBB limited it to the North Central and North East for a likely new political order that is likely to shape the 2023 general elections.
The source told LEADERSHIP Weekend that the committee chairman, Prof .Ango Abdullahi, was given the responsibility about a fortnight ago and yesterday he led the four aspirants to IBB’s house about 3 pm and left around 5pm after it was further resolved based on the report that North West should be ruled out of the contest.
It was learnt that the reason advanced was that for cohesion in the North, it is better any slot at presidential level for the North should be limited to the two zones.
“They recognised the fact that the incumbent president is from North West and if the North must retain the presidency, it is fair that the North Central or North East should take it,” the source said.
Consequently it was learnt that Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwa and a seasoned banker, Mohammed Hayatudeen who is also aspiring, were enjoined to drop their ambitions for a further consensus between Bukola Saraki and Mohammed Bala, the governor of Bauchi State.
The source hinted further that they also gave the committee a further assignment on how to build former vice president Atiku Abubakar’s factor into the new arrangement and get in some southern PDP stakeholders into a likely synergy.
The source also hinted that the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) Dr Kayode Fayemi and Niger State Governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello also held a meeting with IBB shortly before the PDP aspirants and Ango Abdullahi came in.