Northern Consensus will fail –Says Uba Ahmed


(Sun News) Former National Secretary of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN), Senator Uba Ahmed, has described the search for a northern consensus candidate as an exercise in futility. Consensus, he said, goes against “the grains of all known political principles, democracy and theories of politics, and it is undemocratic and unconstitutional”.


He said consensus would fail in its target in getting a candidate agreeable to all in the North. Four northern presidential aspirants are seeking the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) ticket for the 2011 elections. They are: Ibrahim Babangida, Aliyu Gusau, Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Atiku Abubakar.


The Adamu Ciroma Committee was set up to harmonise the North’s position and come up with a consensus aspirant to stave off the possibility of President Goodluck Jonathan clinching the party’s ticket. Jonathan is the only PDP candidate from the South.


The former NPN scribe said the Ciroma-led group would hit the rocks, because it is not in the character of human beings to surrender their vantage positions and all the candidates have enormous goodwill and advantages.


Ahmed, who spoke to Daily Sun in Abuja, said what the Ciroma group wanted to achieve contradicted human behaviours and was not predicated on people’s ambition and what they represented. The former Mnister of Labour and Productivity also said that it would be a big task for any of the presidential aspirants to give up his ambition.


Senator Ahmed cited the 1978 and 1992 presidential primaries of the NPN and National Republican Party (NRC), respectively, in which Ciroma contested. In the former, Ciroma lost while in the latter the election was stopped midway by the General Ibrahim Babangida government. “Why didn’t Ciroma surrender? Why did he contest? Why does he now want to do what in 1978 he did not accept?” He queried.


The former NPN scribe said, consensus is unconstitutional and undemocratic, citing Section 223 (1a) of the Nigerian Constitution that emphasizes periodic primary elections by registered political parties. Section 233 (1a) under the Constitution and Rules of a Political Party  “provide for periodical election on a democracy basis of the principal officers and members of the executive committee or other governing body of the political party.”