Tambuwal Meets Bode Goerge, Lagos Delegates, Says He Has Capacity to Unite Nigeria
*You’re ready and ripe to be president, Says George
As sectarian violence continues to rise in the country, the Sokoto State governor and leading presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Aminu Tambuwal, has said that he has the capacity to unite and rebuild Nigeria if elected the next president in 2023.
He said this in Lagos while addressing the state’s PDP delegates at a parley in Ikoyi with the former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George, ahead of the party’s convention, saying that he had the capacity to deliver on his promise having fulfilled all promises as the Speaker of the House of Representatives and still delivering good governance as governor of Sokoto.
“Some of us are going to midwife the process of rebuilding Nigeria and to do that you must go for content, competence, and experience.
“We are in the recruitment system of who will be the standard flag bearer of our party, and must bring ourselves to the level of our consciousness of not being in trance but must have clear vision and understanding of the kind of leader that Nigeria requires.
“Nigeria must work again for all of us; it can only happen if we have a partnership. I appeal to your conscience. Don’t mortgage the future of your children,” he charged.
“I have delivered as speaker of the House of Representatives; I am delivering good governance in Sokoto State. We do not owe any worker salary; we do not owe pensioners. I am a pan- Nigerian. We shouldn’t be talking about sentiments, when President Obasanjo discovered the problem of the Niger Delta and set up the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), he was not from Niger Delta.
“When President Musa Yar’Adua identified the problem in Niger Delta, he wasn’t a Niger Deltan. It is not about where you are from; it is about competence, your past and whether the people can trust you,” he said.
The presidential hopeful said insecurity and disunity, which he described as issues of the moment, must be addressed, calling on men and women who believe in Nigeria to come together and rescue her from the cliff.
“We must address the issues of the moment, insecurity and disunity. These issues call for all of us, men and women who believe in this country to come together and rescue our country from the cliff. Until we do that, Nigeria will go underground, God forbid,” he warned.
“We have never been in this situation before where our unity has been so threatened, where our stability has been so threatened, where governance in this country has been so bastardised and corruption has been taken to the next level.
“The situation where those in power are helping themselves with public funds, we have never been in this situation where one cannot move around in any part of this country and be safe. We will do everything possible to rescue Nigeria,” he lamented.
“This is the beginning of that process when we take turns as presidential aspirants on the platform of our party to address you, lobby you, engage you on issues and provide you the opportunity of assessing us for the job,” he said.
Speaking later in the day in Ikoyi office of former Deputy National Chairman of PDP, Chief Olabode George, the presidential hopeful promised to do his best to ensure that Nigeria was unified if elected president.
This was just as he also promised to rejig the country’s economy, create more jobs, ensure a turnaround of infrastructure and do a lot more in the education and health sectors.
Tambuwal, a former soeaker of the House of Representatives, who acknowledged the sharp division along ethnic and religious lines in the country, lamented the sad situation, which he said had been brought about by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government, promising to resolve the issue immediately he gets the mantle of leadership in 2023.
“We know the situation of Nigeria today. Sharp division along religious lines, along ethnic lines. The first line has been overstretched, with an abject level of poverty. All indices are very wrong. The economy is in shambles, infrastructure decay, and power not at all exist. And commerce and trade are going down. So that today, there is no middle class. It is unfortunate that we have found ourselves in this situation that we have been put into by the government of the APC, that is rudderless and a ship without a captain,” he said.
He said the PDP remained the only beacon of hope for Nigerians, saying they should elect a good presidential candidate for the 2023 general election and not damage the hope Nigerians had in the party. On why he joined the presidential race, Tambuwal, who is the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, said he was in the race for good reasons.
“I am in the race because I believe that this is the right time now that our party has successfully settled the issue of zoning in a very ingenious way. They have done so without jettisoning the issue of rotation in the party constitution but rely on exigencies of the time, force majeure that all of us should go in, 15 of us, and that means you have a variety to choose from,” he said.
Tambuwal appealed to Nigerians to look at his track record, saying he was adequately equipped for the job, even as he urged Nigerians to go for one who is adequately qualified to be called president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I am not just coming to the public space. I have been around for some time and my conduct is known to the public, my character is known to the public.
“I believe that as I said earlier, we should go for a Nigerian president, a president of the Federal Republic, a president that would be at home in Lagos and at home in Bayelsa; a president that can be at home in Benue and at home in Abia; a president that can be at home in Borno and at home in Osun.
“Why do I say this, it is because we must continue with the work of our leaders, of uniting our people? Yes it is good that we share power but for the PDP, my argument has always been, let us get power and then we share it.
“To win the election in 2023, we must consciously choose the right candidate from states assembly, to the House of Representatives, to the Senate, to the governors and the president,” he said.
“So I can assure you that of the 15 presidential aspirants, I am the youngest. Of the 15 aspirants, none of them has my experience. So if you are looking for experience in all ramifications, qualitative, productive experience that can be applied for democratic federal governance, I have passed,” he added.
He charged the party delegates to be fair to the party and to Nigeria, by electing a candidate that is sellable and marketable, adding, “the one you can go to any part of the country and market with ease because he is known. I am not saying I’m known for bad things, but I am known for positive things.”
George, while welcoming him, said Tambuwal had chosen the right time to come out for the presidential race, declaring that the the presidential hopeful was “ready and ripe” for the number one post in Nigeria.
“We have seen so many aspirants. I don’t want to be completely biased but I would say this before the public. When he was the speaker, at the end of that period people were calling him because of the way he had handled the House of Representatives. They told him to please come for the ticket of the president of this country. He came to my house one evening, just between me and him alone, he told me, baba people are asking me to come and be president. And I said to him, I know you have the right qualities, right temperament, right experience but kanda kanda (take it easy). I said the time will come. You had the choice then of either being governor of Sokoto or to go for the presidential election. I then said turn to Sokoto and acquire that experience. Right now, you are ready and ripe”, George said.
Chieftains of PDP who accompanied Tambuwal to Lagos include, Muktar Shagari, former Minister of Water Resources; Prof. Femi Kila, among others.