Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed has commended the former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida and the Northern Elders, led by Prof. Ango Abdullahi for announcing him and Sen. Bukola Saraki as the selected Consensus Presidential Aspirants.
Mohammed in a statement by his Presidential Campaign Organisation noted that the four aspirants, himself, Tambuwal, Atiku and Alhaji Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, “collectively, freely and willingly approached Gen. Babangida to help select from amongst themselves a consensus presidential aspirant.” The statement, which was signed by Prof. Udenta O. Udenta, Chairman and spokesman of the organisation, added that the aspirants did not only initiated “the consensus arrangement on their own volition but also agreed to fully and unequivocally abide by the decision that Gen Babangida will arrive at in consultation with other elders as well as accept, honour the steps and procedures he will deploy in arriving at any decision.”
He rejected the notion that Babangida and the elders either did not consult very widely or imposed a decision on an unwilling band of presidential aspirants. Governor Mohammed advised “those… desecrating the time honoured verities and inviolable norms to have a sober rethink,” adding that “all those who are not happy with the result of the selection process or who did not participate in it (should) focus on their individual political trajectories without let or hindrance and not muddy the political waters any further.”
The governor, who is one of the two aspirants shortlisted by the Northern Elders as a consensus candidate, explained that the arrangement was not designed as an end in itself but as means to an end. He expressed joy that South East presidential aspirants have also acceded to the model and wish them success in their current endeavours. “The Senator Bala Mohammed Presidential Campaign Organisation believes strongly that the search for consensus, unity, solidarity and shared vision among the PDP presidential aspirants is a worthy move and a patriotic venture that aims at reducing unnecessary tension, acrimony and unhealthy diatribe among competitors and restore back to our politics the culture of reaching common ground, the reduction of the politics of bitterness and the respect of all shades of political opinion.
“Even if the process doesn’t secure all of its set goals at the end of the day, meaning that every aspirant participates in the presidential primaries, it would have imbibed in all aspirants the culture of placing the group above the self in the party’s shared vision of the future and in accepting the very results of the primary election,” the statement added.