A leading presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and governor of Sokoto state Aminu Tambuwal has said that he will be a president for all Nigerians no matter their religion, tribe or region.
Addressing PDP delegates Akure, Ondo state, Mr Tambuwal said Nigeria of today needs a cosmopolitan leader and not an ethnic jingoist saying, “We are here to present to you this project and a personality that is pan Nigerian and one that will represent the collective aspiration and desires of the Nigerian people not an ethnic jingoist or ethnic chauvinist.
“Therefore we require a very courageous leadership to take back our country from this cabal”.
Earlier, Mr Tambuwal informed his hosts: “We are here on this soil of Ekiti land where I own a number of chieftain you titles and where I hate lots of friends, to share with you this project – the aspiration to provide dynamic leadership for our country.”
He appealed to the Ekiti delegates to “choose a personality that is pan-Nigeria and not an ethnic jingoistic,” pointing out the “Nigeria today is at a cross road and so we require a courageous leadership to wrestle power from this cabal.”
He commended the state governor Ayodele Fayose, who is the chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum, for the role he played by providing the much needed leadership not only in Ekiti state but also standing out as the voice for the opposition in Nigeria, particularly “after the loss of election in 2015 and after the wahala of Sheriff.”
Mr Tambuwal told the delegates that the only condition for the emergence of the type of leadership that Nigeria understands would be “if the delegates elect the person who understands the dynamics of Nigeria. I have that experience because as a principal officer of the House of Representatives before becoming Speaker, I traversed the length and breadth of Nigeria and I have a fair understanding of the needs of Ekiti state and I am in a better position to respect the needs of the people.”
“I am not going to be that leader that would shut down pole from calling for restructuring. I will support and encourage restructuring and at the end of the day we shall have it,” he assured.
Mr Tambuwal further pledged that if given the mantle of leadership, his government would have respect for the rule of law and respect for human rights.
“I will not be that leader that considers national security more important than human rights,” he added.
On his part, Mr Fayose identified the youthful age of Mr Tambuwal, as a great asset to Nigeria.
He explained that in this digital age, only a leader with age on his side could have the stamina, mental capacity and the grasp needed to confront and find workable solutions to the serious challenges facing the nation.
He noted that besides his young ago, Mr Tambuwal’s experience in the legislature, where he served as Speaker of the House of Representatives for four years, and as executive governor for the fourth year, eminently qualify him for the office of president.
“A man can never give what he doesn’t have. Buhari’s old age and tyrannical character cannot allow him to perform. An old man cannot perform. Anybody packaging Buhari to come back is packaging him for their personal interests,” Mr Fayose said.
He charged Mr Tambuwal not to be afraid but to work hard “so that we can remove this monster. The fall of a tyrant always comes when he least expects it. ”
To all the presidential aspirants in the PDP, Mr Fayose said: “You must take the outcome of the party’s primaries in good faith. If God favors you, try to be magnanimous and if you lose, join hands with the winner to fight this common enemy.”
He justified the choice of Port Harcourt as venue for the party’s national convention, saying “we settled for Port Harcourt because we were looking for a city with High number of hotel rooms that can accommodate our delegates.”
In his remarks, the Ekiti state chairman of PDP, Barrister Gboyega Otuase said “When you have a failed state in Nigeria, when you have a tribalist and a religious bigot in power, you start looking for an urbane person to right the wrongs.
He told Mr Tambuwal that Ekiti state has an interest and that as the only PDP state in the South West that is capable of altering the voting equation of the region, that interest of the state must be recognized and addressed.
In Akure, Ondo state capital, Mr Tambuwal told the PDP delegates that he will run a 21st century government, tackle insecurity head-on, create jobs and be fair and equatable in distribution of projects and appointments such that all parts of the country would be carried along.
He said as a president he will seek inputs from leaders of states before proposing budget estimates to the National Assembly.