Opts for Sokoto guber
Strong indications emerged yesterday that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, may have dropped his presidential ambition, and has opted to contest for governorship of Sokoto state.
A competent source within the House of representatives leadership confided in Peoples Daily yesterday that the Speaker had been under tremendous pressure to bury his presidential ambition for now and thus forestall sharp division in the ranks of the All Progressives Party (APC), which is determined to wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).
The source further said that even though the Speaker has not made any categorical statement on the issue, he was not someone who likes to ‘rock the boat’ and therefore may have settled for the governorship ticket of Sokoto state.
Another inside source who is very close to Tambuwal, but spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity, said that the Speaker may have settled for the gubernatorial seat being offered to him by the APC.
Accordingly, the Sokoto-born lawyer, Tambuwal is likely to declare his governorship ambition within the week, with the collection of the expression of interest and nomination form, at the APC secretariat.
Only last Friday, the Speaker, who defected from the ruling PDP to the opposition,APC, had while accepting the expression of interest and nomination form purchased for him by colleagues and sundry groups, declared his interest to contest for office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
However, the Speaker had been quick to say that he was still consulting and would come out with the final decision soonest.
It was learnt that Tambuwal had been pressured by certain forces in the South West, particularly Lagos, to throw his hat into the ring ostensibly to thwart the ambition of former Head of State retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Already, Buhari, Atiku, Gov. Musa Kwankwaso and Sam Nda Isaiah had collected their expression of interest and nomination forms, while some 50 colleagues and interest groups had based on their convictions that Tambuwal has presidential credentials opted to drag him into the race.
But some 72 hours after he openly accepted the form and declared interest in the job, some northern elders and key figures in the APC were said to have talked him into dropping his ambition to ensure a united front against the PDP come February 2015.
Peoples Daily learnt that Tambuwal, along with the leadership of his campaign group, leaders from the South West, North East and colleagues in the House of Representatives were in a crucial meeting over the matter.
Though the meeting was still in progress, feelers from the meeting hinted that Tambuwal was persuaded to shift grounds in favour of a unified interest of the party as well as ensure that all hands are on deck to combine resources and available forces against the PDP.
According to a source, Bola Tinubu was behind the decision to draft Tambuwal into the race, based on his belief that the Speaker will offer something fresh to the electorate.