The Arewa Consultative Forum described the move as undemocratic, stating that it could lead to chaos and collapse of the party.
The spokesman of the ACF, Anthony Sani said that the North was opposed to the idea because it would limit the choice of Nigerians during the election even as he added that the PDP does not have the final say as to who becomes president in 2015.
He said, “I am not aware of this kind of move by the ruling PDP. But I want to say such practices, if allowed, would limit the democratic space by reducing the choice of candidate. As a result, members of the ruling party’s right to participate in the choice of their presidential candidate will be short changed. Nigerians’ choice will also be limited.
“It is to be noted that even in America, when candidacy is conceded to the incumbent, it is not forced but brought about by consensus by members of the ruling party. And that was why Senator Kennedy was not barred from contesting the primaries with President Jimmy Carter in the early 80s. The practices of limiting candidacy to incumbency cannot promote democracy that is premised on triple foundation of liberty, justice and common decency.
“When you talk about effect of such development on the aspiration of the North to vie for the presidency in 2015, you at once convey an impression that the primaries in PDP is final. Nigerians can still make judicious use of their democratic rights and vote candidates in some other parties, more so in a clime where most of the political parties are mere clones of one another in terms of their approach to solving the myriad of problems of Nigeria.”
Sani advised Nigerians not to let such action by the PDP result to chaos in the country.
“Nigerians should not allow the actions of a few or of a party to determine how they think, what they say and what they do. Nigerians should shape events, and not allow events to shape us. There is no need for chaos, since voters have the final say. Instead of causing any chaos, voters should make judicious use of their democratic rights and vote leaders of their choice,” he added.