The Northern Elders Forum have endorsed former Senate President Bukola Saraki and Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State as the northern consensus presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This was revealed by NEF spokesperson, Ango Abdullahi, in Minna, Niger State capital on Friday.
Recall that Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Governor Bala Mohammed, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and Mohammed Hayatu-Deen had criss-crossed the country hoping to pick a consensus candidate amongst themselves ahead of the PDP presidential primaries.
Speaking on Friday, Ango Abdullahi stated that the decision to select Saraki and Bala was arrived at after they scaled the criteria for selection.
According to him, these criteria included candidates assessment, zonal assessment, and PDP previous experiences.
Abdullahi said, “For the purpose of this exercise, it is hereby resolved that Governor Bala Mohammed from the North-East and former Senate President Bukola Saraki from the North-Central be presented as the northern consensus candidates for the moment.
“The successful aspirants are hereby urged to work together to make allowance for further consultations to foster understanding among themselves and the PDP community to ensure a rancour-free primaries in which all eligible candidates would be free to exercise their right.
“In the first phase, the opinions of six distinguished persons each from the three geo-political zones were sought with regards to each of the four aspirants.
“Each of the zonal delegates was allocated two votes to choose the first and second choice making a total of 36 votes overall.”
Revealing the outcome of the vote, the elder statesman said Aminu Tambuwal polled 7 votes, while the Bauchi governor got 10 votes 10 votes for Bukola Saraki, and 5 votes for Mohammed Hayatu-deen
He said one of the elders deferred his votes, while two other members did not cast their second ballots bringing the total to 32 votes cast out of 36.