AFTER months of permutations, speculations and political intrigues, the Mallam Adamu Ciroma led ‘’17-wise men’’ to get a consensus candidate for the north finally came up with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the ‘’anointed aspirant.
Briefing Journalists Monday at the Yar’adua Centre, Secretary to the Consensus Committee, Mallam Abdulkadir Sabo Bello reiterated the north’s position on zoning and completing the four year tenure of late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
With the announcement of Atiku Abubakar as the northern candidate, he would then wrestle with President Goodluck Jonathan at the primaries for the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
"I am humbled by this endorsement, and I accept it wholeheartedly, with humility and sense of responsibility.
I commend the Consensus Committee for this endorsement and for their sacrifice, their patriotism, their commitment and their integrity. They have made an important contribution to the unity and stability of this country.
I am profoundly grateful to the other aspirants who were screened by the Consensus Committee for their commitment to the consensus process. All three of them, former President Ibrahim Babangida, former National Security Adviser, General Mohamed Aliyu Gusau, and Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State, are eminently qualified for the office of President. Their decision to abide by the decision of the Consensus Committee is a further testimony to their patriotism, honour, service and selflessness. Nigerians will forever remain grateful to them for their contribution to the peace, unity and stability of this country. I will continue to count on their support in the campaign to win the PDP primaries and the 2011 Presidential election.
I commend Nigerians for their patience, understanding, support and prayers. I shall need the support of all as I seek the mandate to be the flag-bearer of the PDP in the 2011 Presidential election.
This is a time for sober reflection on the challenges facing our country and the immense opportunities that exist for us to address them. I hope that the conclusion of this consensus process will mark an end to the divisive politics which our opponents have been promoting. In the days ahead I shall be addressing the press, and will continue to unfold my agenda for providing good governance and building a new Nigeria for all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic, religious or sectarian affiliations. With your support and prayers we shall make good things happen."
In a statement issued after the exercise today , Atiku Abubakar commended members of the committee for their patriotism and sacrifice saying their decision was a product of wide consultation across the length and breadth of the country.