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Friday, 25 May 2018

2019: PDP's national chairman speaks on party's criteria for picking of presidential candidate

2019: PDP's national chairman speaks on party's criteria for picking of presidential candidate

2019: We have no preferred presidential candidate - PDP

- The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to be preparing ahead of the 2019 presidential elections

- The opposition party already has a standard for their presidential candidate in 2019

- It is concerned about the national acceptability of whoever will emerge in the election

The PDP has said it does not have any preference for any of its presidential aspirants for the upcoming 2019 presidential election.

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The party said it would present an acceptable candidate that would shock the ruling All Progressives Congress (2019) in the presidential contest.

The national chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, told The Punch on Thursday, May 24, that the party was already working out modalities on how to get the best out of its array of aspirants jostling to fly the party’s flag in 2019.

Secondus said that the National Working Committee of the party had resolved not to back any of the aspirants, adding that all the aspirants had been given the mandate to market the party to Nigerians ahead of the general election.

His words: “We, the national leadership of the PDP, have no preferred presidential candidate for the 2019 election. We have eminently qualified members of the party and other Nigerians who are still aspiring to come to the PDP that can fly the flag of the party come 2019.

“While we continue to monitor the activities of these individuals, we want to assure Nigerians that we will present to them a nationally and even an internationally-acceptable candidate that will thrash whoever the disorganised APC presents as its candidate.

“The NWC met, and agreed not to either as an individual or as a body, back any of the aspirants because we are like fathers to them all. But I can assure you that, once the aspirant emerges, the party and majority of Nigerians will line up behind him and his running mate.

“We are working round the clock to ensure that our members are united and join us and others, to rescue this country from the hands of incompetent individuals and cabal.”

Asked what would be the criteria for the picking of the party’s presidential candidate, Secondus said that the party would release the guidelines on that soon. He however said that anyone aspiring to lead the country “is expected to be a nationalist who is interested in the progress of the entire nation.”

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He added: “We will field someone who knows Nigeria and Nigerians. We won’t field someone who sees himself and his household as the geographical entity of the country.

"We will give Nigerians a candidate that will travel round the entire country not to give promises he cannot fulfil, but someone they can trust. We will give them a candidate who will not upon assuming office; deny any of his campaign promises.”

Asked on the progress made concerning the ongoing alliance talks with other political parties, Secondus said the committee set up by the PDP and headed by a former governor of Cross River state, Liyel Imoke, was making progress.

“We have a committee that is making steady progress on that. All the opposition parties are working together and as soon as the committee submits its reports, we will swing into action," he added.

Presidential aspirants in the party at the moment include ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar; a former Jigawa state governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido; the Gombe state governor, Ibrahim Dankaambo; and an ex-minister of education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, former chairman of the party, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi and former minister of special duties; Alhaji Tanimu Turaki.

Meanwhile, about 7,000 defectors from various political parties were on Monday, May 14, received by the PDP in Kanam local government of Plateau state. Some of the defectors were those that cross carpeted to the All Progressives Congress (APC) after the 2015 general elections.

PDP chairman in Plateau state, Damishi Sango, who received them during the commissioning of Kanam PDP office and inauguration of chairmanship campaign committee and appeal fund raising, said the defectors would be accorded the same privileges as other members of the party.

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