Abdulsalami Abubakar. Image: This Day
*How our presidential candidate will emerge, PDP reveals
*Wike: Nigeria will shake when south takes position on 2023
*PDP warns Matawalle against plot to sack deputy
BY CHUKS OKOCHA AND ONYEBUCHI EZIGBO
ABUJA (THIS DAY LIVE) -- A former military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), has said that the country needs younger people to lead it as from 2023. He said that the Nigeria of 2023 and beyond would not need leaders with a walking stick but the younger generation to give the leadership a new lease of life.
Also, amid the backlash against its decision to throw the 2023 presidential ticket open to the North and South, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday explained that all organs of the party would be involved in the decision-making leading to the selection of its presidential candidate.
This is coming as Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, has said that the stakeholders in the southern region would soon take a position concerning the 2023 presidential election, stressing that the country would shake when they take a position.
Abdulsalami spoke yesterday at his Hilltop country home in Minna when a presidential aspirant and President of Kaftan TV, Prince Adewale Adebayo, visited to consult with him on his ambition.
“Thank you, Adebayo for finding me fit to come and tell me of your ambition. Indeed, Nigeria needs the younger generation to take over from us the older generation,” he said.
The former Head of State expressed happiness that younger people are now showing interest to take over the leadership of the country
“Like you rightly said the world is going digital and I believe the younger generation is more exposed internationally in ICT than the older generation.
“I am happy that you are thinking of moving the country forward and I believe with your ideologies and your youthful and vibrant ambition I think Nigeria is on the right part and wish Nigeria will be great.
“Nigeria with a population of over a 200million certainly is a great country and such leadership will go a long way to make it a greater place.
“Thank you for finding me fit to come and visit me to tell me of your ambition. You can count on our support always trying to do the right thing,” he added.
He thanked the former Minister for Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung for bringing his friend to visit him.
The presidential aspirant who is a product of the National Consultative Front (NCfront), expressed gratitude to Abdulsalami for relinquishing power to democratically elected leaders.
“We are grateful to you for many reasons, that we saw you on May 1999 handing over power and collecting your service plaque; you have always been there,” he said.
How Our Presidential Candidate will Emerge, PDP Reveals
Meanwhile, the PDP has explained that all organs of the party would be involved in the decision-making leading to the selection of the presidential candidate of the party.
PDP insisted that it has not reached any decision on the zoning of the 2023 presidential ticket, adding that consideration for national unity will guide the issue of zoning.
The party stated that the governors elected on its platform, its national caucus, Board of Trustees (BoT), and the National Executive Committee (NEC) would be involved in the selection of its presidential candidate for the 2023 general election.
PDP further stated that any zoning decision would put into consideration the continued unity of Nigeria as a country.
The main opposition party has also cautioned the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle against stoking and inducing violence in the state by manipulating the state House of Assembly to commence the removal of the democratically-elected Deputy Governor of the state, Mahdi Aliyu Mohammed Gusau.
National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr Debo Ologunagba, told THISDAY in an exclusive interview that all the organs of the party would be involved on all issues that affect the party, including zoning.
“On zoning, what we will do is this: The various organs of the party – the PDP governors’ forum, the National Executive Committee (NEC), the Board of Trustees (BoT), the national caucus and other organs will discuss from different zones and all these organs will take their positions to the NEC and the NEC will make a pronouncement to that effect.
“We have not gotten to that position on zoning. So, PDP is yet to take a position on zoning. We are not like the APC that thrives on lies. The truth of the matter is that the party as of today has not taken any position on the zoning of its presidential ticket.
“And typical of the PDP processes, the party is governed by regulations and rule of law, especially governed by the constitution of the party,” he explained.
The PDP spokesperson however said: “Anybody that is qualified can show interest but that does not mean that the party has taken a position on zoning
“And when the decision on zoning will be taken, issues about the continued unity of Nigeria and the general well-being of everybody will be taken into consideration.
“And this is what the NEC will do and let me say it again, the party has not taken a position on the zoning. And when the party takes that position on zoning, it will have at its background the peaceful existence and unity of the country,” he added
Nigeria will Shake When South Takes Position on 2023, Says Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the stakeholders in the southern region would soon take a position concerning the 2023 presidential election.
Wike spoke yesterday at a reception organised in his honour by the Kalabari people.
“The day the South will speak, Nigeria will shake,” the governor said.
“We believe in the unity of this country, but nobody can threaten us. Nobody should threaten us. We believe in the unity of Nigeria and unity of Nigeria must continue.”
Wike said the PDP would not give its presidential ticket to a candidate who would not serve the public interest.
He said some desperate politicians were already plotting for a candidate who would serve the interest of the affluent few.
“No amount of gang-up can make PDP give somebody who will want to run an election for the interest of some big men, and not for all Nigerians,” he said.
“Anybody who wants to be a candidate of PDP must be a candidate for the interest of Nigerians.”
PDP Warns Matawalle against Plot to Remove Deputy
In a related development, PDP yesterday cautioned the Zamfara State Governor, Matawalle against manipulating the state House of Assembly to commence the removal of the deputy governor, Gusau.
The Zamfara State House of Assembly had on Friday served the deputy governor of notice of impeachment from office, accusing him of corruption and disobedience to constituted authority.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Ologunagba, PDP said that the illegal process of removal of the deputy governor, despite a subsisting order of the Federal High Court, Abuja in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/ 650/2021 portends grave implication for peace and security not only in Zamfara State but the entire North-west region as well as the continued sustenance of democracy in the country.
The PDP said: “It is clear that this panic move by Governor Matawalle is induced by his realisation that the mandate of the PDP, which he stole away into the APC is at the verge of being recovered through the legal processes of the court and restored to the Deputy Governor; he (Matawalle), having violated the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) is recklessly moving to the APC when there is no division in the PDP”.
PDP further stated that Matawalle should note that the people of Zamfara State are solid with his deputy as the custodian of the PDP mandate after Matawalle’s infamous defection to the APC.
“As such, any action against the deputy governor amounts to a direct assault on the will of the people which they will firmly resist.
“Any attempt, therefore, to strip the deputy governor of the mandate of the people on the grounds of baseless and unfounded allegations is a recipe for a serious crisis that can result in the complete breakdown of law and order in the state,” it explained.
The party cautioned the state lawmakers not to allow itself to be used against the people and destroy the state because of the bloated ego of Matawalle whose political career is at its twilight.
“Governor Matawalle must know that the people of Zamfara State cannot allow his frustration and ego to be exchanged for their mandate which is now embodied in the deputy governor,” the statement added.
PDP called on the Inspector General of Police, President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC to note how Matawalle has constituted himself into a security threat in Zamfara State and the entire North-west region, where he is now threatening the lives of members of the PDP and other well-meaning citizens.