A former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State on Monday visited the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, to consult him over their presidential ambitions.
The trio said they were in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, as a team to hold private discussions with Ortom in furtherance of their ambitions as well as in the interest of the country.
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Saraki, who addressed Ortom on behalf of the team, disclosed that they decided to form a unity team, mainly to enable them reach a consensus among themselves in the days ahead.
He stressed that they took the initiative to work as a team without anybody forcing them to do so, adding that it became necessary because the country was too divided by personal interests.
He said, “I’m here today with my two brothers, the governor of Sokoto State, His Excellency, Aminu Tambuwal and of course, the governor of Bauchi State, His Excellency, Bala Mohammed. We are here today as part of our ongoing consultation of three of us who have shown indication to aspire for presidency under our great party.
“We, on our own about couple of weeks ago felt that in the interest of our party as well in the interest of our great country that we should be able to come together and find a consensus among us.
“Our interest is very little compare to our country’s at this time when it is in its very defining moment. I believe only our party can rescue this country from where it is today and those of us who are aspiring are committed to ensure that we find somebody who will unite us whom we will all support. That’s a better way to unite the party and reduce the rancour in the process.
“To do that, we must also carry along key stakeholders of the party, leaders in the party like you and that’s why we are here today. Three of us alone cannot win and deliver; it is all of us and that’s why we feel that at this very stage of our deliberation, leaders like you must be part of it. That’s why we held a private discussion for you to know that we are very serious about this.
“The seriousness comes from our total belief that it’s the unity of our party. All of us are eminently qualified to lead this country; it’s about us ensuring that we put the country first and that is why we are here.”
Saraki thanked the Benue State governor for the fruitful discussions they had, noting that “we’re confident and encouraged by your comments that what we are doing is in the best interest of our party and for our country.”
He added, “Our plan is to see the other colleagues across the country. We’re hoping today to see you and two other governors and also tomorrow some others.
“We are committed on PDP winning. Any of the aspirants is eminently competent to rule this country and lead this country. But whoever that person is, he needs all of us. That is what is priority, not whether Aminu is President or Bala or Wike or Anyim or Waziri; no! It is what will make Nigeria better and we believe it’s the PDP platform.”
Responding, Governor Ortom eulogised the trio, describing all of them as eminently qualified to be the president of Nigeria, adding that, “these two leaders (Saraki and Tambuwal), Nigerians can testify that during their time that they did very well and delivered on their mandate, so I’m not surprised today they are coming out for presidency. My brother, Mohammed, who we were colleagues together at the administration of President Good luck Jonathan, he is also eminently qualified and I’m very happy.”