A total of N285m has been generated by the leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from eight presidential aspirants that have so far purchased its nomination and expression of interest forms to contest for the presidency.
The party had after its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, approved the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections. While the seven male aspirants paid N40m each, making N280m, the lone female aspirant paid N5m.
The aspirants that have so far collected the forms are former vice president Atiku Abubakar, former Senate president Bukola Saraki, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed, and a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim.
Others are Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; veteran journalist and publisher, Dele Momodu; Dr. Nwachukwu Anakwenze and Diana Oliver Tariela, the only female aspirant that has so far purchased the forms.
Speaking shortly after obtaining his nomination form at the headquarters of the PDP in Abuja, Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze said he is more qualified than all those that have picked nomination and expression of interest forms to vie for the presidency under the party in 2023.
Saraki, Tambuwal, Mohammed rally Ortom over consensus
Meanwhile, three presidential aspirants on the platform of the PDP, yesterday, met the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, over their bid to come up with a consensus presidential candidate ahead of the party’s primaries.
A former Senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki and two northern governors on Monday visited Governor Ortom to consult him over their presidential ambitions.
The trio – former Senate president, Bukola Saraki, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed – were all in Makurdi yesterday.
They said they were in the Benue State capital as a team to hold private discussions with Ortom in furtherance of their ambitions as well as in the interest of the country.
Saraki, who addressed Governor Ortom on behalf of the others, disclosed that they decided to form a unity team mainly to enable them to reach a consensus among themselves in the days ahead.
He stressed that they took the initiative to work as a team without anybody forcing them to do so, adding that it became necessary because the country was too divided.
They restated their commitment to ensuring that PDP won the 2023 presidential election.
Responding, Governor Ortom commended the aspirants, describing them as eminently qualified to be the president of Nigeria.
He said “these two leaders, (former) Senate president and Tambuwal, Nigerians can testify that during their time, they did very well and delivered on their mandate, so I’m not surprised today they are coming out for the presidency.
“They are eminently qualified and my brother, Mohammed who we were colleagues in the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, is also eminently qualified and I’m very happy.
“This visit humbles me. If these three people or one of them had requested that they want to see me in Abuja, Kwara, Sokoto or Bauchi, I would have been there,” Ortom said.
Also yesterday, Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, has declared his support for the consensus arrangement being planned by the three presidential aspirants.
Speaking when the trio of governors Tambuwal, Mohammed of Bauchi and Saraki, met him at the Taraba Governor’s lodge in Abuja, Ishaku said he was in support of the move to produce a consensus candidate.
He lamented the state of affairs in the country and urged the aspirants to come together as that was the only way to tackle the problem in the country.
Ishaku said, “This is a wonderful golden initiative. PDP is known for being a family. We have shown Nigerians how to rule and manage their affairs and I think we should still be the leaders. You have my 100 per cent support. I am sure my colleagues too will give you the same support.”