How Atiku Emerged Consensus Candidate

Date: 23-11-2010 7:35 am (13 years ago) | Author: don uche
- at 23-11-2010 07:35 AM (13 years ago)
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The wait is over – former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has been selected as the consensus candidate of the Mallam Adamu Ciroma-led Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF).
Barring the emergence of a third force before the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku is expected to slug it out with President Goodluck Jonathan.

Making public its decision in a signed statement, chairman of the committee, Malam Adamu Ciroma, and Secretary, Abdulkadir Sabo Bello, said Atiku beat three other candidates – former military President Ibrahim Babangida, former National Security Adviser Aliyu Muhammed Gusau and Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki – to emerge the candidate.
In a four-paragraph statement issued in Abuja yesterday, the committee said: “We are pleased to announce that we have concluded our assignment of arriving at a consensus candidate today and one out of the four aspirants who submitted themselves to the process has emerged. He is Atiku Abubakar.

“We are glad and proud that we have finally arrived at this outcome after several weeks of hard work and wide consultations. We are proud because of the unusual honour and extraordinary privilege given us by the four gentlemen who placed their political destinies in our hands. We are humbled by the strength of their faith. We appreciate their humility and cooperation. We have been reassured by all of them that they will work together to enable Atiku Abubakar clinch their party’s ticket in the presidential primaries.

“We thank all Nigerians, supporters and critics alike for their views over these past several weeks. While we note these views and respect each one of them, we insist that no individual, organization or society dreaming of success and greatness can achieve these dreams without respect for others and honouring agreements voluntarily entered into. This is especially so where these agreements have been transformed into a binding document, a constitution, which governs the conduct of those who subscribe to it.

“We call on all Nigerians to reflect on this. We also call on all delegates to the forthcoming party conventions to take these into account while casting votes. God bless the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
The statement was not read. It was handed out to journalists by the NPLF secretary. He was introduced by the spokesman of the group, Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim.

A member of NPLF, Senator Abubakar Madhi, accompanied them to the venue
The secretary briefly remarked: “We have concluded our assignment. Four aspirants emerged and in view of the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua and for the completion of the remaining four years, we insist that the president by 2011 must come from the North. We demand for the implementation of the zoning arrangement in the PDP. In view of this, we embarked on mobilization for the retention of the zoning formula in the PDP.

“You are all aware that four aspirants emerged to contest for the Southern presidential aspirant for the primaries in the PDP. In view of the fact that these four aspirants that emerged from the North are from the PDP and with the zoning formula, we insist that the next president for this country will be Northerner for four years to complete the eight years term which is meant for the North under the PDP zoning arrangement.

“We now embarked on bringing out a consensus candidate among the four aspirants, in view of the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan have declared his intention to contest for the primaries in the PDP.
“We embarked on consultation across the North with our brothers in other parts of the country. I’m glad and happy to announce to you that the exercise has come to an end. After all consideration, we are able to come up with a consensus candidate in the name of Alhaji Abubakar Atiku. He is the person chosen by the wise men.”

Three questions were allowed. Ibrahim answered the questions thus.
Reporters: What were the criteria used in arriving at Atiku as the consensus candidate?
Ibrahim: There were four gentlemen who were desirous of contesting for the presidential ticket as the Northern consensus candidate and for the office of the president under the banner of PDP. These four aspirants submitted themselves to our committee. And this committee has done its work according to the criteria that we set and which they subscribed to and this committee has reduced these four aspirants to one. So the committee has achieved its mandate.

Reporters: Why was Ciroma not here to read this statement and why are all the four aspirants not here?
Ibrahim: I can tell you that the committee has been working for the last 48 hours and after the assignment, the committee members decided to go and take a rest. They have already left. The statement was duly signed by Ciroma and the secretary who is here with us.

Reporters: What is the position of the aspirants, in terms of first, second and third?
Ibrahim: Every thing is in the statement. Please read the statement... Thank you very much.
In his acceptance speech, Atiku said he is humbled by the endorsement.
His statement read: “A short while ago, the Consensus Com-mittee of the Northern Elders Political Forum announced me as the consensus candidate from amongst the four who submitted themselves to this process to endorse a candidate to contest the forthcoming primary elections of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This came after what were obviously wide-ranging and painstaking consultations across the length and breath of this country. I am humbled by this endorsement, and I accept it wholeheartedly with humility and sense of responsibility.

“I commend the Consensus Committee for this endorsement and for their sacrifice, their patriotism, their commitment and their integrity. They have made an important contribution to the unity and stability of this country.
“I am profoundly grateful to the other aspirants who were screened by the Consensus Committee for their commitment to the consensus process. All three of them, former President Ibrahim Babangida, former National Security Adviser, General Mohamed Aliyu Gusau, and Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State, are eminently qualified for the office of President. Their decision to abide by the decision of the Consensus Committee is a further testimony to their patriotism, honour, service and selflessness. Nigerians will forever remain grateful to them for their contribution to the peace, unity and stability of this country. I will continue to count on their support in the campaign to win the PDP primaries and the 2011 Presidential election.

“I commend Nigerians for their patience, understanding, support and prayers. I shall need the support of all as I seek the mandate to be the flag-bearer of the PDP in the 2011 Presidential election.
“This is a time for sober reflection on the challenges facing our country and the immense opportunities that exist for us to address them. I hope that the conclusion of this consensus process will mark an end to the divisive politics which our opponents have been promoting. In the days ahead I shall be addressing the press, and will continue to unfold my agenda for providing good governance and building a new Nigeria for all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic, religious or sectarian affiliations. With your support and prayers we shall make good things happen.”
Meanwhile, all the three candidates who contested against Atiku for the consensus slot have vowed to ensure his victory at the polls. In separate statements issued yesterday, Babangida, Gusau and Saraki restated their earlier pledges to work with whoever emerges as the consensus candidate.

In his statement on behalf of Babangida, the Director-General of IBB Campaign Organisation, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, commended the manner in which the exercise was carried out.
The statement read: “The exercise to search for, find and approve a Consensus Candidate from among the Presidential Aspirants in the constitutional zone of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) must go down in the annals of this great nation as historic and uniquely interesting.”

Dokpesi took a swipe at Jonathan, adding: “In between the Adamu Ciroma committee on the one hand, and the aspirants on the other, there is a fundamental lesson which the Nigerian people, over time, will appreciate much more than now. Democracy can only be sustained and flourish under the principles of justice, rule of law, equity, and determination, particularly on the part of leadership to respect, adhere and advance the framework of upholding the constitution not only of the country, but also of various institutions such as the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party. You cannot breach the rules and regulations of the Party and yet pretend to foster the rules and regulations of Nigeria. Human conduct is a logical system and not merely of opportunism; more so under a regime of democracy and constitutional government.”

Similarly, the Aliyu Gusau Campaign Organisation congratulated Atiku for emerging as the consensus candidate.
In a statement issued by the organisation, it reiterated the initial pledge and commitment of its principal, Gusau, to respect the verdict of the committee and give unqualified support to whoever emerges as the committee’s candidate.
The statement, signed by the Director General, Senator Ben Obi, asked Gusau’s supporters to await further directives.
The Abubakar Bukola Saraki Campaign Organisation congratulated Atiku in a statement signed by its Director General, Dr. Udenta Udenta.
The organisation said in the spirit of peace, national unity and sustenance of democracy  in the country, they had accepted the decision.

In a statement last night, Saraki said: "When a few weeks ago, I agreed to submit my presidential aspiration to this arrangement that would produce a consensus candidate to contest the PDP primaries, my utmost desire was to be part of the process to make the political space less acrimonious, thereby contributing to the unity of Nigeria.
"Today, a verdict has been reached and the consensus candidate has been decided. In keeping with our agreement to abide by the committee’s decision and support whoever emerges, and as a matter of personal integrity, I hereby accept the decision reached and congratulate Alhaji Abubakar Atiku who has emerged as the consensus candidate.
"I wish to also thank all members of the committee that have worked on this arrangement for the respect they have accorded my aspiration, for the opportunity they have given me to be part of this process and, for this service that they have rendered to democracy in Nigeria.

"In the last couple of weeks, I have travelled the great length of this country and have engaged most seriously with the issues that I believe will make our country greater. I have developed a manifesto that I believe would set our country on the path to greatness. I have confronted with the challenges that matter most to the ordinary Nigerian. And this process has come to assume a greater significance for me beyond the limits of personal ambition."

The PDP reacted to the emergence of Atiku in a brief statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Ahmed Alkali.
The statement read thus: "As elections approach, politicians are bound to adopt variety of strategies to achieve their objectives. The consensus approach is therefore an arrangement purely among individual aspirants within the party.
"The leadership of the party has no input in this, as it is a cardinal policy of the National Working Committee (NWC) to remain neutral. Our primary concern has been and still is to provide a level playing field to all contestants at all levels.
"It is our commitment and determination to remain neutral and fair to all those who put themselves forward to contest for primaries on the platform of our great party, the PDP."

Posted: at 23-11-2010 07:35 AM (13 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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Posted: at 23-11-2010 12:37 PM (13 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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