Stakeholders and chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the North-East have picked Senator Abdul Ningi, a former deputy senate majority leader, as the zone’s consensus candidate for the national chairmanship position.
The 61-year old Sociology alumnus of Ahmadu Bello University currently serves as the senator representing Bauchi Central senatorial district.
It means that PDP’s elective October 30 National Convention has boiled down to a three-horse race.
Ningi will be squaring off against former Senate President Iyorchia Ayu, the North-Central’s consensus candidate, and former Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema, the North-West’s consensus candidate.
The senator emerged after the North-East caucus nominated him as its flag-bearer on Tuesday at a meeting in Abuja.
Speaking after Ningi’s emergence, the chairman of the National Convention Organising Committee and Adamawa state governor, Alhaji Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, said the decision came from robust engagement with party elders from the region.
Fintiri described Ningi as an experienced and loyal member of the party and vowed that North-East stakeholders would back him up to the hilt.
Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed expressed confidence in the nominee’s capacity as an experienced lawmaker and politician.
While thanking the stakeholders for the confidence reposed in him, the senator promised not to disappoint them should he eventually become the national chairman.
Following the controversies that surrounded the tenure of its former national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, PDP governors and chieftains settled for an early national convention, slated for October 30 and 31, during which it will elect a new set of National Working Committee members.
Earlier, this month, the party zoned the chairmanship seat to the North.
Ningi has been in the National Assembly since 1999 when he won the election into the House of Representatives for Ningi federal constituency.
He was re-elected in 2003 and 2007.
Apart from been the majority leader of the House of Representatives from 2003 to 2007, he was the chairman of the House Committee on Police Affairs and the House Committee on Solid Minerals
Ningi in 2011 won a seat in the Senate as the senator representing Bauchi Central senatorial district.