BY EVELYN DADU, ABUJA – With barely three weeks to the forthcoming national convention of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), where the party is expected to picks its candidate for next year’s presidential election,
Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state on Friday said the youthful age of Governor of Sokoto state and presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, remains a great asset to Nigeria.
Fayose, who stated this in Ado-Ekiti when Tambuwal presidential ticket train visited Ekiti state to solicit support from the state’s delegates, further said 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 age, 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.
In his words; “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.
“I urge you (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,” Fayose enthused.
To all the presidential aspirants in the PDP, 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.”
Earlier in his remarks, Governor Tambuwal said; “We are here on this soil of Ekiti land where I own a number of chieftaincy titles and where I have 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,” adding that “Nigeria today is at a cross road and so we require a courageous leadership to wrestle power from this cabal.”
He commended Governor 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 2015 election and after the wahala of Sheriff.”
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.”
He further said; “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 people from calling for restructuring. I will support and encourage restructuring and at the end of the day we shall have it,” he assured.
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, adding that; “I will not be that leader that considers national security more important than human rights.”
In his own 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.
On Tambuwal’s delegation were Chief Rowlence Nwuluku, ex-Ambassador to Mexico and Panama; Rt. Hon Terngu Tsegba, a former speaker of the House; Prince Kassim Afegbua; Chief Ben Okoko; Engr. Bello Suleiman, ex-Minister of Power; Dr. Malawi Aliyu, Abubakar Koto, Aliyu Mohammed and Hon. Yemi Arokodare, among others.