The screening committee for the chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party will by Wednesday present a list of three persons from which the party will choose the next National Chairman, Sunday PUNCH has learnt.
A usually reliable party source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confided in our correspondent in Abuja on Saturday, said that each of the three zones which made up the North are to each present a candidate.
The source said, “We in the PDP are guided by democratic principles. Each of the three zones has been asked to go and sit among themselves and present a candidate for us to choose from.
“In the event that they fail to agree, they should put it to vote; whoever wins will be the candidate for his zone. They are expected to conclude that by Wednesday, at the most.”
Another source, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “Although the former Senate President, David Mark, is the clear favourite, we have people from other parts of the North who have indicated interest.
“Former Kogi State Governor, Ibrahim Idris; another former Senate President, Iyiochia Ayu, from Benue State; former Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu; and Prof. Jerry Gana also from Niger State, all from the North-Central have shown interest.
“From the North-East, we have former Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, and our Deputy National Chairman (North), Suleiman Nazif, from Bauchi.
“The North-West has former Kaduna State Governor, Ahmed Makarfi; his Katsina State counterpart, Ibrahim Shema; and Kabiru Turaki, SAN, from Kebbi State.”
“I’m aware that the North-Central which is highly favoured to produce the next chairman will meet at the Benue State Governors’ Lodge to take a decision on who to present.”
Speaking to reporters at the PDP National Headquarters, on Saturday, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, who is one of those advocating for a consensus candidate, expressed optimism that the North will present a candidate that will lead the party to victory.
Mohammed said, “Consensus is normally a process of democratic consultation because democracy is about consensus.
“Certainly, the electoral process can be reduced by having a convergent point on an individual and that would have reduced the disparaging issues within the party.
“I did say we should have a consensus candidate but, where we will not, we will not practice imposition.
“We have resolved the issue of zoning. The PDP is a mature party. We have always done this within the experience we have garnered over the years. And what we have been able to do for this country.
“We have learnt from our mistakes; we are not going to play to the gallery the way and manner our distractors or our competitors want us to be.