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PDP Chair: PDP governors decide on consensus candidate

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By Lawrence Olaoye

The twenty-six governors under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) met yesterday in Abuja in a bid to have a consensus candidate among the hordes of aspirants campaigning for the slot ahead of the party’s National Convention, which is 12 days away.

The governors, sources said, were not at ease with the frontline candidate, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who is said to be enjoying the backing of President Jonathan.

They, in turn, prefer a younger chairman who they feel would be able to carry out the transformation agenda of the party with a view to moving it forward.

Before yesterday’s meeting,  which was held at the Rivers state governor’s lodge in Abuja, the PDP governors were undecided on whom to support but there were speculations that the North-East governors had decided to back down on their support for Tukur.

It was speculated that the Adamawa state governor, Murtala Nyako, was not comfortable with Tukur’s ambition because of certain political differences and had pointedly told the President that his state was not ready to produce the party’s national chairman for now.

It was learnt that Bauchi state governor, Isa Yuguda, who has been vigorously campaigning for the emergence of the incumbent Acting National Secretary of the party, Dr. Musa Babayo, had succeeded in convincing majority of his colleagues ahead of yesterday’s meeting on the need to back his candidate who hails from his state.

Although, others in the race including incumbent National Publicity Secretary of the party, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali, Dr. Shetima Mustapha and Mallam Adamu Bello also have some governors backing their aspirations, there were indications that the governors may have settled their minds on the party's scribe as probable successor to Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje at the Wadata House headquarters of the party.

Details of the resolution of the meeting and whom the governors eventually decided to back for the PDP number one position were however unclear.
At the end of the meeting which did not last more than an hour, all the governors present went out of the meeting straight to their waiting vehicles and refused to speak with newsmen.

Some sources said there was a stalemate while others said an agreement had been reached, but the governors refused to known their stand, because only few of them attended yesteday’s meeting.

Our sources said further that the governors are expected to reconvene today at the end of which, they would make known their choice for the PDP chair.

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