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EXCLUSIVE: ‘Operation Stop Wike’ — northern leaders fail in last-ditch effort to field consensus candidate

Author:
Samuel Akpan

Northern stalwarts in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) met on Friday night to pick a consensus candidate ahead of today’s primary election but failed to reach an agreement, TheCable can report.

Sources told TheCable that the meeting which took place in Abuja, was at the instance of Sule Lamido, former governor of Jigawa who is supporting Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto state, for the party’s presidential ticket.

The hopefuls were asked to rally behind one candidate to prevent Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, from clinching the party’s ticket.

Wike is seen as the biggest threat to the north because of his network and war chest.

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He is believed to have the highest number of states in his corner.

However, the aspirants, including Atiku Abubakar, Bala Mohammed, Bukola Saraki and Aminu Tambuwal, refused to step down for one candidate except Mohammed Hayatu-Deen who agreed to withdraw from the contest.

Some of those who attended the meeting include Emeka Ihedioha, former governor of Imo, who is Tambuwal’s ally; Aliyu Gusau, former national security adviser; and Ben Obi, Atiku’s associate.

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A previous attempt by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to pick a consensus candidate failed.

NEF recommended Saraki and Mohammed but other hopefuls from the north rejected the outcome.

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