The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party led by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, has met with the 2019 presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar.
The meeting, which held at the party’s presidential campaign office, otherwise known as Legacy House, Maitama, Abuja, on Sunday night, was the first interface the party would have with Atiku since he won the presidential primary in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Sunday morning.
It was learnt that the meeting, which started late in the night, lasted for about two hours.
Authoritative sources at the meeting said that the party’s leaders discussed the issue of a running mate with Atiku and members of his team.
It was also gathered that Atiku was mandated to submit to the party a list of his preferred candidates as running mates to enable the party to discuss it with him.
A source said, “The meeting told the former Vice President that he should work with the party henceforth and that he has ceased from being a private person.
“The meeting demanded the list of those he considered could be his running mate. The party let him know that he has to carry its leadership along and that he (Atiku) cannot unilaterally pick a running mate without the party’s input.
“Some names were mentioned, but the party’s position was that a proper list should be compiled to enable both sides to look at the list and take a position.”
The source said that some criteria were set for who should partner Atiku to enable it to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 14, 2019 presidential election.
Such criteria, he said, included that the running mate should be younger than Atiku and be grounded in the economy.
“The party was very clear about these two areas. The running mate must be grounded in the economy and must also be younger than the presidential candidate,” the source added.
The source added that series of meeting would be held within the week in order to enable the party to meet the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the submission of candidates’ names for the elections.
He said, “There were other discussions concerning the setting up of the campaign council and those who should be there.
“In all, the candidate told the meeting that he was a team player and that he would always defer to it and that he could not do the job alone.
“It was a family gathering sort of, and the former Vice President also pledged to work with the party in order to have a successful campaign.”
Atiku is better than other presidential candidates, says BoT
Meanwhile, the Board of Trustees of the party has described Atiku as the best of all other presidential candidates in the country.
The Chairman of the Board, Senator Walid Jibrin, stated this while speaking with journalists in Abuja.
He also played glowing tribute to the Chairman of the National Convention Planning Committee, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, and its Secretary, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State.
Jibrin said the BOT would play an advisory role to the Atiku campaign council.
“Atiku is the best of all other parties’ candidates. I urge all PDP members to support Atiku,” he added.