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2023: Why Tambuwal may jettison ambition –Source

Intrigues toward the 2023 general elections appear to be at play in the leading opposition party in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with different groups and individuals making moves that would ensure their relevance in the scheme of things. One of such individuals is the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who sources said may jettison his presidential ambition, preferring to pick a ticket for the Nigerian senate instead. It was gathered that decided to settle for the senate with the hope of vying for the position of the president of the senate if the PDP forms the next federal government.

A source in the party informed Saturday Telegraph that Tambuwal’s decision to jettison his presidential ambition was based on political calculation. “Even if the PDP decides to pick its presidential candidate from the north, it is not going to be North West. “What do you think will be the reaction of people from the North East and North Central that after eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari and three years of the late president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the PDP goes to the same zone they are from and choose its presidential candidate? “I think that was what Tambuwal considered, and I think it will pay him better if he goes to the Senate, because having served as Speaker of the House of Representatives he is most situated to be Senate President,” the source argued.

He disclosed that the party might choose its presidential candidate from North East, but said that the problem is getting somebody that will enjoy national acceptance. So far, five aspirants have openly indicated interest to pick the party’s presidential forms for the election, out of which only two; Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa and Otunba Dele Momodu have officially notified the party leader ship of their intention. The other three; former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and two former presidents of the senate, Anyim Pius Anyim and Bukola Sararki have begun nationwide consultations since last year.

The Bala Mohammed Committee that reviewed PDP performance in 2019 had advised that “in determining the candidates for election in 2023, there should be far more understanding, consideration and deeper consultation within the major organs of the party …to achieve consensus and nationally acceptable presidential candidate.” According to him, Atiku, who is from the region and who met these criteria, faces two problems – age and his apparent running battle with the PDP governors. He drew attention to the recent visit of Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike to some PDP states, and said that his mission might be to ensure that the governors unite in choosing the party’s presidential candidate, as they did during last year’s national convention of the party. The source stated that if Wike’s mission works, it might not benefit Atiku,”unless he mends fences with them (the governors).

“The governors control majority of the party delegates and whoever they support wins. The outcome of October last year’s convention showed that the structure of the party is now firmly in the hand of PDP governors.” The party source disclosed that Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed is interested in the PDP ticket, but feared that he might not enjoy national acceptability. “Governor Mohammed, unlike Atiku, has age on his side. He is in his first term in office, but his view last year on killer herdsmen that pitched him against his Benue State counterpart Samuel Ortom, did not make him a nationalist,” the source said. The source revealed that the South East stands a chance, but that the party might not go for a South East president now because of its voting disadvantage. The Bala Mohammed Committee painted a grim picture of this, when it noted in its report that though PDP has its strongholds in the South East and South- South, the two regions have less voter registration compared to the north.




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