The choice of Atiku brings to an end the battle for the north to present a formidable candidate to tackle incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan at the PDP Primaries slated for January 2011.
Atiku came tops amongst other contenders in the consensus brouhaha which included Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara state and former National Security Adviser (NSA) General Aliyu Gusau.
But briefing reporters on the outcome of the tedious job today in Abuja, Mallam Adamu Ciroma said the committee was pleased to announce it has concluded the assignment of arriving at a consensus candidate and one out of the four aspirants, Atiku Abubakar who submitted to the process has emerged.
"We are glad and proud that we have finally arrived at this outcome after several weeks of hard work and wide consultations. We are proud because of the unusual honour and extraordinary privilege given us by the four gentlemen who placed their political destinies in our hands. We are humbled by the strength of their faith", Ciroma said.
He further said that the committee appreciate their humility and cooperation and have been reassured by all of them that they will work together to enable ATIKU ABUBAKAR clinch their party's ticket in the presidential primaries.
Ciroma thanked all Nigerians, supporters and critics alike for their views over these past several weeks adding that while the committee note these views and respect each one of them, it insist that no individual, organization or society dreaming of success
and greatness can achieve these dreams without respect for others and honouring
agreements voluntarily entered into.
He said this is especially so where these agreements have been transformed into a binding document, a constitution, which governs the conduct of those who subscribe to it and called on all Nigerians especially the delegates to reflect on this and take into account while casting their votes.
I AM HUMBLED - ATIKU ABUBAKAR
A short while ago, the Consensus Committee of the Northern Elders Political Forum announced me as the consensus candidate from amongst the four who submitted themselves to this process to endorse a candidate to contest the forthcoming primary elections of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This came after what were obviously wide-ranging and painstaking consultations across the length and breath of this country.
I am humbled by this endorsement, and I accept it wholeheartedly, with humility and sense of responsibility.
I commend the Consensus Committee for this endorsement and for their sacrifice, their patriotism, their commitment and their integrity. They have made an important contribution to the unity and stability of this country.
I am profoundly grateful to the other aspirants who were screened by the Consensus Committee for their commitment to the consensus process. All three of them, former President Ibrahim Babangida, former National Security Adviser, General Mohamed Aliyu Gusau, and Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State, are eminently qualified for the office of President. Their decision to abide by the decision of the Consensus Committee is a further testimony to their patriotism, honour, service and selflessness. Nigerians will forever remain grateful to them for their contribution to the peace, unity and stability of this country. I will continue to count on their support in the campaign to win the PDP primaries and the 2011 Presidential election.
I commend Nigerians for their patience, understanding, support and prayers. I shall need the support of all as I seek the mandate to be the flag-bearer of the PDP in the 2011 Presidential election.
This is a time for sober reflection on the challenges facing our country and the immense opportunities that exist for us to address them. I hope that the conclusion of this consensus process will mark an end to the divisive politics which our opponents have been promoting. In the days ahead I shall be addressing the press, and will continue to unfold my agenda for providing good governance and building a new Nigeria for all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic, religious or sectarian affiliations. With your support and prayers we shall make good things happen.
Atiku Abubakar, GCON.
IBB THANKS CIROMA, OTHER ASPIRANTS, SUPPORTS CONSENSUS AGREEMENT
The exercise to search for, find and approve a Consensus Candidate from among the Presidential Aspirants in the constitutional zone of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) must go down in the annals of this great nation as historic and uniquely interesting. Founded upon a principled commitment for the public good, justice, equity and fairness in the pursuit of good governance and party politics, the 'Committee of Wise Men' under the leadership of Alhaji Adamu Ciroma must be appreciated for its patriotism and the advancement of the frontiers of democracy and of politics with conscience.
We express with profound gratitude to this committee of selfless men and to all IBB's fellow Presidential aspirants, namely His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, His Excellency, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and General Mohammed Aliyu Gusau for the thoughtfulness in undertaking this profound process of the search for a Consensus Candidate. Gratitude for the Wise Men for their individual and collective concerns and sacrifices which only history and the Nigerian people shall duly reward in the passage of time. Gratitude for the four presidential aspirants who willingly submitted themselves and their political ambitions and organisations for the search and appraisal and consequently for the outcome of a Consensus Candidate.
In between the Adamu Ciroma committee on the one hand, and the aspirants on the other, there is a fundamental lesson which the Nigerian people, over time, will appreciate much more than now. Democracy can only be sustained and flourish under the principles of justice, rule of law, equity, and determination, particularly on the part of leadership to respect, adhere and advance the framework of upholding the constitution not only of the country, but also of various institutions such as the constitution of the Peoples' Democratic Party. You cannot breach the rules and regulations of the Party and yet pretend to foster the rules and regulations of Nigeria. Human conduct is a logical system and not merely of opportunism; more so under a regime of democracy and constitutional government.
The outcome of the consensus exercise which the Adamu Ciroma Committee selflessly imposed upon itself in the past two months must be loudly applauded for the rigour of their search, conduct, and foresight. The Committee inaugurated a process to tackle a challenge the result of which will outlive the politically induced crisis which called the Committee into existence. The outcome of the Consensus Exercise has truly humbled all the Presidential Aspirants. We once again, thank everyone of the membership of this committee. We all know the gravity of what the Aspirants have done. We know that in doing what they have done, this great nation and all Nigerians shall manifestly be served. They did not submit themselves to this exercise so as to fail, far from it. The machinery of success which they inaugurated previously has become further strengthened and deeply rooted. It shall be well with the Consensus Outcome, and it shall manifestly be well for all Nigerians.
The IBB Presidential Campaign Organisation commits itself to all the elements of the Consensus Agreement and understanding. On behalf of His Excellency, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, GCFR, we wish to congratulate His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, GCON as the Consensus Candidate. God bless Nigeria.
High Chief Dr. Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi, OFR.
National Campaign Director General,
IBB 2011 Presidential Campaign Organisation.
22nd November, 2010.