Some self-interested Northern leaders and forces are moving to ensure that the region presents a consensus presidential candidate ahead of the upcoming general elections.
In separate conversations, sources revealed that many leaders in the North want former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the region’s consensus candidate.
“Our people have resolved to adopt a consensus candidate for 2023, and the person they have chosen is former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the PDP candidate,” a source told New Telegraph.
According to the source, who is a prominent member of the Northern Elders Forum, prominent leaders in the North have been putting pressure on the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) Presidential Candidate, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, to drop his bid for the Adamawa State-born former Vice President.
“I can tell you that our leaders in the North have commenced moves to pressurise Senator Kwankwaso to drop his presidential bid for Atiku Abubakar in the interest of our people,” the source said.
Findings within the Kwankwaso camp revealed that the former Kano State governor had remained adamant to the pressures being pilled at him, with a vow to go ahead with his bid.
“Madugu (Kwankwaso’s sobriquet) has been bombarded with calls and visitations from prominent leaders in the North to drop his bid for Waziri (Atiku’s traditional title) but he (former Kano governor) has remained adamant,” a source within the NNPP said.
According to the source, Kwankwaso’s refusal might not be unconnected to the circumstances that led to his exit from the PDP, which people close to him said was very unpalatable.
“It would be difficult for Madugu to support the PDP because of the way some people close to Alhaji Atiku treated him when he was there, so such possibility is very remote,” the source said. When prodded to be more categorical on the options opened to the former minister, the source said, “I think even if he drops his bid, the only person Madugu would back is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.”