We didn’t endorse Saraki, Mohammed as consensus candidates – Northern elders
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has refuted reports that it has thrown its weight behind former Senate President Bukola Saraki and Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed as consensus presidential aspirants of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from the region.
Recall that there were plans by Saraki, Mohammed, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and Mohammed Hayatudeen to work towards a consensus presidential candidate from the north.
However, Mohammed and Saraki were announced as the northern consensus presidential aspirants of the PDP by Prof. Ango Abdullahi on Friday.
The development has continued to generate reactions as major stakeholders and the aspirants who were initially part of the consensus arrangement make their position known.
Tambuwal had since dissociated himself from the outcome, declaring that the consensus plan had failed, while former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido described it as a charade and unacceptable.
Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, and Mohammed Hayatudeen have since denied being a party to the arrangement.
Reacting to the development, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, the northern elders were not involved in the process that threw up Saraki and Mohammed as northern consensus candidate.
In a statement, he said the attempt to engineer a consensus among the aspirants was that of the aspirants themselves.
Baba-Ahmed said, “Governors Aminu Tambuwal and Bala Mohammed, former Senate President Bukola Saraki and Mohammed Hayatudeen had informed for head of state, Badamasi Babangida, of their intention, and requested elderly intervention and advice in the event that their efforts failed to produce consensus.
“Babangida in turn requested Prof. Ango Abdullahi in his individual capacity to design and manage a process that could improve a consensus agreement among the four aspirants. Prof. Abdullahi concluded that assignment and released a detailed report and recommendation, signing it in his individual capacity,”
He said the entire process did not involve the Northern Elders Forum as a group, and was not a product of the group.
Professor Ango Abdullahi, he said, was free to undertake any lawful activity as a citizen, and genuine misinterpretations of his role are understandable.
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