Former ministers who served when the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was in power between 1999 and 2015, on Monday, resolved to produce a presidential candidate from their ranks in the 2019 election.
Rising from a meeting held at the Asokoro, Abuja home of a former Minister of Special Duties in the Jonathan administration, Tanimu Turaki, the politicians, who gathered on the banner of Former PDP Ministers Forum, said they will field one of their members as the PDP candidate.
Turaki, who read the communiqué of the meeting, said the forum had resolved to work in tandem with other organs of the PDP and had decided that whatever happened with regard to the outcome of the Supreme Court judgement on the leadership of the party, it would join hands to revitalise and reunite the PDP into a virile and more constructive opposition.
Rather than call for the impeachment of Buhari on account of poor performance, he said they want to get the president out of power through the ballot box.
“People behave differently to different situations. We are not unaware of the point President Buhari made when Yar’Adua was sick. For us as former ministers forum, we wish him speedy recovery. We want him to come back and continue the job for which he persistently fought to be elected and for which he was elected. We want him to come and continue because we want to defeat him in the 2019 election and not anybody else,” he said.
The forum called for an urgent meeting of all organs of the PDP to harmonise strategies to consolidate the party and unite all efforts in the build-up to the 2019 general elections which it hopes will lead to a resounding victory.
Currently, two of the PDP leaders from the North are interested in the 2019 presidential race.
They are Lamido, who is three weeks away from his 69th birthday; and Turaki, 60, who is from Nasarawa State.
Indeed, a northern based political group, Siyasa Akida Network Nigeria, recently threw its weight behind Lamido.
Spokesman for the group, Alhaji Ali Tukur Gantsa, said in Kano that the circumstances the country found itself now required the experience of a man with political sagacity of the former governor. “Things are nothing going on the way it should be and we have increasingly witnessed things going from bad to worse in recent times. Nigeria and indeed Nigerians have never at any point of her chequered political history been so exposed, and we earnestly call on Sule Lamido to step out and offer hope,”Gantsa said.