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Peoples Democratic Party former Ministers Forum met in Abuja on Monday and resolved to field one of its members as the party’s presidential candidate in 2019.
The former ministers also said that President Muhammadu Buhari would be defeated if he contested the 2019 election.
The former ministers, who met under the aegis of the PDP Ministers’ Forum, also accused the ruling All Progressives Congress of polarising the nation along regional, ethnic and religious lines.
Sources at the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity with our correspondent said that the former ministers agreed that it would be better to have one of their members as the party’s standard bearer in 2019.
It was gathered that two former ministers from the North were interested in the race.
They are a former governor of Jigawa State who was also a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Sule Lamido and a former Minister of Special Duties under the regime of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Alhaji Saminu Turaki (SAN).
Though Lamido was not at the meeting, Turaki, who is also the chairman of the forum, was present.
It was also gathered that the meeting resolved that the forum should encourage other members of the party to show interest in the race.
The source said, “We resolved that it would be better to have the party’s presidential candidate among our members.
“We have some of our members who have shown interest in the race. However, if we can’t get an acceptable candidate, we will also spread our tentacle to other members. But we want a former minister as the party’s candidate.”
Turaki, who read the communique of the meeting to journalists, said that the forum was solidly behind the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the party.
He also commended the efforts by the PDP Board of Trustees, PDP Governors Forum, National Assembly caucus and the Prof. Jerry Gana-led Strategic Review Committee for the repositioning of the party.
Turaki said, “People behave differently to different situation. We are not unaware of the point President Muhammadu Buhari made when Yar’Adua was sick. For us as former ministers, we wish him speedy recovery.
“We want him to come back and continue the job for which he persistently fought to be elected for and for which he was elected.
“We want him to come and continue because we want to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 election and not anybody else.”
He disclosed that no matter what happens to the party, he and his colleagues would remain committed to its ideals and vision, adding, “we believe very strongly that the judgement of the Supreme Court which is coming sometime next week will unite the party more than dividing us.”
Turaki also said that the forum resolved “to remain committed to the ideals of visions and mission of the PDP and we are determined to join other organs of the party in revitalising the party into a virile and more constructive opposition.”
Condemning the insecurity in the country and the alleged inept leadership of the APC, the former minister said that the forum observed with great concern “the deteriorating security situation in this country particularly the increasing spate of kidnappings, armed robbery and the unchecked menace of herdsmen that regularly kill, rape and vandalise farmlands across the communities.
“The forum also notes that as a result of the inept leadership of the APC-led Federal Government in Nigeria that Nigerians have never been so polarised along regional, ethnic, religious and other divides and we feel that this is really most unfortunate.
“The PDP made the supreme sacrifice to make Nigeria one and ensured that our indivisibility as a people and as a country was not compromised and that was why our presidential candidate in the 2015 election conceded defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari which singular act contrary to the expectation of pessimists that Nigeria remained one country.”
The former minister said that he and his colleagues condemned the invasion of the house of former Vice-President Namadi Sambo’s house in Kaduna.
He called for urgent meeting of all organs of the party to harmonise strategies to consolidate the party and unite all efforts particularly in the buildup to the 2019 general election, “which we hope we will get a resounding victory by the special grace of God.”

Source: The Punch.

www.sojworld.com © July 4, 2017.

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