Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde said on Tuesday that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 election would be someone that has everybody’s buy-in.
The governor, who was speaking while receiving leading presidential hopefuls of the party, who paid him a visit at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, said that the party would ensure the presidential candidate emerges through a consensus arrangement.
Makinde, who received the team of presidential aspirants including former President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Governor of Sokoto State, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, the Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed, and foremost economist and banker Mohammed Hayatudeen, said that stakeholders in the PDP would work hand-in-hand to ensure the consensus option pulls through.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor pledged to work with the aspirants to ensure that the PDP picks a consensus presidential candidate.
He appreciated the presidential aspirants for coming up with the consensus idea and noted that the party will work together to give to Nigeria, a president through a process that has “everybody’s buy-in.”
He said: “I want to really thank you my senior colleagues for this visitation. We have discussed behind closed doors the issue of the consensus arrangements we are trying to put together. We did it at the last convention of our party, and that was the first time the PDP was able to achieve bringing in a National Chairman for the party through a consensus arrangement.
“We believe we can do it and we also believe that Nigerians will take this party seriously when they know that we are all working together to give to them a president through a process that has everybody’s buy-in; where there is no rancour among the stakeholders. So, I promise my elder brothers that we will work hand in hand to ensure that this consensus arrangement is successful.
“I have also said that, internally, we will ensure that people understand what we are trying to do. And where there is any iota of doubt or confusion. We will put a mechanism in place where it will get addressed almost immediately as we move along.”
The statement equally quoted Senator Saraki, who spoke on behalf of the team as saying that the team of presidential hopefuls was in Ibadan to brief Governor Makinde on the plan for a consensus candidate among the aspirants.
Saraki said, “We are here this afternoon to meet the governor of Oyo State, who is a key stakeholder of our party. We have been going around and we have to come and brief him on the idea of the consensus arrangement that we are trying to do together.
“We have looked at the country today- the hardship and insecurity, which our people are going through, and it is clear that it is only our party, PDP, that can provide a brighter future for this country. But we think we ourselves must be ready for government in 2023, by uniting ourselves and being focused.
“This must not be about our individual interests but that of Nigerians. Of course, we all have our individual interests to become the president but we have decided in our meetings that we are ready to subject ourselves to a consensus arrangement. It is not just for one part of the country but for the PDP as a party. Even, whoever emerges cannot rebuild this country by himself will need the support of everybody and we want the foundation to start from that process, and that is why we are here.
“We all know that Governor Makinde is a great party member, who has worked very hard for this party and we have come to carry him along to address some of these concerns because without the opportunity of him knowing what we are doing, it will be wrong for us to assume he understands the reason behind it.
“As usual, we had a very useful meeting with him and he has added his ideas, value, and commitment. We know he has no interest more than the interest of how Nigeria can be better and we too don’t have any other interest. So, we thank Your Excellency for receiving us.
“We were in Asaba yesterday (Monday) and I read about a particular mischievous article. This is not about who gets what but the insecurity and hardship of this country. How do we make life better for everyone and how can we work as a team? That is what we are here for.”