No fewer than eight governorship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State have agreed to come out with a consensus candidate for the 2019 election to unseat incumbent Governor Nasir El-rufai.
One of the aspirants, Ja’afaru Sa’ad, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Friday, described the development as commendable.
The other aspirants are the immediate past governor of the state, Ramalan Yero; Isah Ashiru, Mohammed Sani Bello; Bello Kagarko; Sani Sidi; Jonathan Kish and Shuaibu Mikati.
Mr Sa’ad, who holds the traditional title of Galadiman Ruwan Zazzau, said that the idea was for the PDP to form a united front capable of defeating whoever the ruling APC field as its candidate.
“Eight of us seeking for the party ticket have been urged by our party to go, discuss among ourselves and come out with a consensus candidate.
“We are all qualified and capable, but as members of the same family we do not have room for internal crisis usually associated with primary elections.
“To me, this is a unity of purpose. All we want is victory comes 2019 elections, not only for our party but primarily for the people of Kaduna State, whom we hope to represent and serve, “he said.
He said the measure would enable the party channel all its resources, expertise and energy into ensuring that it put up a good fight and wrestle power from the APC.
“Our central goal is to beat the APC and its candidate, as such, the need for PDP, being a one united family to work together for the interest of the party and the people of the state.
“Eight of us were at the meeting on Tuesday, except for Ashiru who sent a representative.
“We embraced the idea with all our heart. We will commence sitting hopefully this week to bring out one candidate that will beat the APC come 2019 elections,” he assured.
Mr Sa’ad encouraged other states and “even at the national level for the presidential seat” to take similar step in the selection of candidates for various offices.
Confirming the decision, Ibrahim Wusono, the PDP Secretary in the state, said that it was a collective agreement of the party executives, elders and members.
“We have the option of either coming out with a consensus candidate out of the eight currently vying for the gubernatorial ticket, or conducting an election if we could not reach a consensus.
“As party executive, we met with members, elders of the party; former Vice President Namadi Sambo and Mohammed Makarfi among others to decide on the way forward.
“Our leaders assured us that they do not have a candidate, that their candidate is the people’s candidate.
“We summoned a meeting on Tuesday July 17 to see the possibility of a consensus candidate that will be acceptable by members and the people of Kaduna State; someone who if elected will be a leader of all.
“And if not possible, then we will have to conduct election when the time comes. But we were happy when the eight aspirants bought the idea and promised to get back to us very soon.”
Mr Wusono, however, said that if another aspirants emerge after the consensus candidate has been decided, the party would not deny him the opportunity to aspire for the governorship ticket.
“We will ask such a person to meet with the consensus candidate and decide who should carry the flag. If that fails then we will have to conduct an election,” Mr Wusono added.
NAN reports that Mr Ashiru was a former local government chairman, state Assembly and two term member of the House of Representatives.
Mr Bello, the Mainan Zazzau is a lecturer and a former commissioner in the state while Mr Kagarko was also a commissioner of Education during the Makarfi administration.
Mr Sidi too is a former commissioner in the state and the immediate past Director General, National Emergency Management Agency.
Mr Adamu who is from Kaura LGA, is a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and former House of Assembly Member in the state.
Nasir El-rufai is of the All Progressives Congress (APC).