The Peoples Democratic Party on Monday commenced the screening of its Presidential aspirants for the 2019 election.
The party’s National Convention is scheduled for Oct. 5 and Oct. 6.
The screening chaired by former Vice President Namadi Sambo was conducted at the party’s Presidential Campaign Office, Legacy House, Maitama, Abuja.
The aspirants are former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Senate President Bukola Saraki; immediate past Senate President David Mark; former Sokoto State governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; and former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Tanimu Turaki
The others were Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; former Plateau governor, Jonah Jang; former chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Makarfi, and former lawmaker, Datti Baba-Ahmed.
Aspirants who spoke with newsmen shortly after the screening expressed their satisfaction with the exercise.
Saraki described the exercise as commendable and a pointer to a credible primaries. Represented by his Media Aide, Yusuf Olaniyan, Saraki said that the atmosphere at the screening portrayed fairness and friendliness from the aspirants and the screening committee.
On his part, Jang told newsmen that the process was transparent and credible, and expressed optimism of picking the party’s ticket after the primaries.
“The process was beautiful. Absolutely I stand a chance to win the ticket. I am optimistic because I believe in God and I believe that God is going to give it to me. I am also impressed that there is no bitterness in the ongoing campaign by the presidential aspirants.”
Turaki, on his part stressed the need for the aspirants to work together, saying there must be a synergy to ensure that PDP rescue Nigeria in 2019.
“It is not about us, it is not about selfish interest, it is about our party and about this country. It is only PDP that can save this country.
“We are not going to be distracted. The focus before us is that we should ensure that PDP gets back into office on May 29, 2019”
Atiku Abubakar also expressed satisfaction with the exercise. Reacting on the Saturday governorship election in Osun State, Abubakar urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare PDP winner of the election.
Tambuwal also said that the exercise was conducted smoothly without any issue that called for concern. He also called on INEC to declare PDP as winner of Osun election.
The screening exercise would continue on Tuesday.