By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has not zoned its presidential ticket to the North – West as being speculated in some quarters.
A PDP presidential aspirant, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (SAN) made this clarification while speaking with newsmen after addressing delegates and members of Kwara state executive of the party at the party’s secretariat along Asa Dam road, Ilorin on Thursday.
Turaki, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) said what’s true however is that the PDP has zoned the presidential ticket to the entire northern region.
He said by implication, the presidential candidate of the main opposition party in the country can emerge from any of the three zones (north west, north east and north central) that made up the northern region.
Turaki said that the wisdom behind the decision to leave the primary contest open to all interested aspirants from every party of the north, “is to allow for the emergence of the best out of the best”.
He said that the PDP has learnt its lesson and would not do anything that could jeopardise its bright chances of winning next year’s presidential election.
The presidential hopeful also said that all the aspirants within the PDP fold have agreed to support and work for the victory of whoever among them that emerged as the standard bearer of the main opposition party, ” since the major interest of all of us in the rebranded PDP is to serve Nigerians and this can only be achieved by all of us cooperating to chase out the clueless All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government .”
While saying that his chances of winning PDP presidential ticket is very bright, Turaki expressed his readiness to support the kingmaker of Kwara politics and Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, if he is the one that emerged as the party’s flag bearer.
“The reason why I would support Saraki is very simple. Both of us are children of the late great politician, Dr. Olusola Saraki. Since the commencement of the Fourth Republic I was a member of Baba Saraki ‘Great Hall’ where decisions on who should take what in the state politics were always taken. So, Bukoka and I are brothers. And that’s why I’m in Ilorin to speak to our people. Therefore, whoever, among the two of us that gets the presidential ticket is still same Saraki political dynasty.”
Speaking on the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Electoral Amendment Act, Turaki urged the APC led federal government to always place national interest above the interest of an individual, adding that if a candidate is popular, there’s no way the sequence of elections timetable can effect his electoral fortune.