- Category: Politics
- Published on Thursday, 16 December 2010 12:40
- Written by Daily Trust
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FORMER military President General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida yesterday reiterated his support for the emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as PDP consensus candidate of the North even as he commended General Mohammed Aliyu Gusau and Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki who along with him subordinated their individual ambitions for the emergence of Atiku.
Babangida who presided over a National Stakeholders conference 2010 in Abuja yesterday, also paid tribute to Mallam Adamu Ciroma who provided “the great leadership that saw the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as consensus candidate.”
He said by respecting the outcome of the consensus arrangement that produced Atiku Abubakar, the northern PDP aspirants have not only demonstrated a singular act of patriotism but have also charted out a framework for national unity.
Describing zoning as being in the long-term interest of Nigeria, Babangida said: “Zoning is beyond the northern part of Nigeria; it is beyond the PDP; it is simply a national challenge that guarantees to all sections of the country a sense of belonging.”
He said it was lamentable that some actors in the political process in the country were trying to undermine the question of national unity by “jettisoning measures that are deliberately designed to promote and guarantee national unity.”
Former Senate President Ken Nnamani, who was guest speaker on the occasion, described zoning as the only solution to marginalisation in the country. “The emergence of Atiku Abubakar through consensus is a lesson to the effect that every zone in the country is qualified to produce a leader”, Nnamani said, adding that: “If we truncate zoning, we will create all kinds of confusion in Nigeria.”
Former vice president and northern PDP consensus candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said if the ruling PDP does not succumb to reforms, it stands the risk of making itself irrelevant. “We shall bring this country back to the path of honour again”, Atiku pledged.
The stakeholders’ conference which had the theme: “Building consensus for National Unity”, was attended by delegates from the Northern Political Leaders Forum, Igbo Political Forum, South-South Unity Forum and the Yoruba Redemption Group.