The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said that it will rely on Nigerians to help the party choose its candidate for the 2019 presidential election.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan disclosed this to Punch over recent tussle for the ticket between former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; his colleague in Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo; and a former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
He said the decision to rely on Nigerians was based on the party’s determination to avoid past mistakes and imposition of candidates.
Ologbondiyan, however, dismissed the report that the party is backing one of those in line to get its presidential ticket.
He said, “As a party, we have so many candidates already, but Nigerians will determine their next president.
“Nigerians are desirous of change; there is no argument about that. And it is more than obvious that the APC is bent on presenting President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term. The party does not have any other alternative. So, Nigerians desiring change can’t get it in the APC. They are looking at the PDP. We don’t want to disappoint them again.
“There are so many demands in the country now. Some people are agitating for restructuring, some want a leader with experience, not somebody that will get to power and wait for another six months before appointing ministers, some want young people. All of these factors will come to play in selecting our presidential candidate.
“Nigerians will signpost who they believe should lead them. We want to produce a credible candidate. Nigerians will sing the song of the one they want to lead them; the party doesn’t have any candidate yet.
“Currently, there are debates over the age of who should be our President, whether the President should be young or old. Therefore, there are so many aggregations of opinions, so what Nigerians say about the kind of candidate they want will inform our choice.
“We don’t want the party to be damaged again over allegations of imposition.”
Others interested in getting the party’s presidential tickets are former Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau; former governors of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido and Ibrahim Turaki; and a former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa.