2019: I am not bothered about venue of PDP convention – Tambuwal

The Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, says he is comfortable with any venue the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may pick for its National Convention.

Mr Tambuwal is one of about 13 aspirants bidding for the presidential ticket of the PDP, the party he rejoined late July after defecting from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

PDP has fixed the convention for October to pick its presidential candidate; but there is disagreement within the leadership of the party over the venue of the event.

While the National Working Committee has indicated the convention will hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the Board of Trustees said no decision has been reached on the venue, echoing concerns by some party members that plans to take the convention out of Abuja were hatched to favour Mr Tambuwal.

The Sokoto State governor has been heavily speculated as the preferred candidate of his influential Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, who is a major funder of the party and long time ally of its National Chairman, Uche Secondus.

Mr Wike was believed to have played a principal role in luring Mr Tambuwal back to the PDP, with some reports suggesting the main carrot he dangled at the Sokoto governor was the PDP presidential ticket.

It is speculated that the Rivers governor will be more comfortable pulling the strings of the convention from his home base in Port Harcourt than in Abuja.

Although a first term governor, Mr Tambuwal has seemingly forfeited the chance to seek a second term and has opted to run for president next year.

But according to a report by The PUNCH newspaper on Wednesday, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives said he is fine with any location for the party convention as long as it satisfies the needs of aspirants and delegates.

He was speaking with journalists after a meeting with leaders of the PDP in Minna, Niger State.

“The decision of the venue of the convention is for the party and its organ to take, even if they choose Minna if they have the facilities, there is nothing bad about it,” the governor said.

”We, the aspirants, are only consulted for our input, not to insist on where the party will host the event.”

Also at the briefing, Mr Tambuwal explained why he considered himself the best candidate to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

“When you are going into a battle, you must present your best arsenals to defeat your opponent; if not, you will be overwhelmed.” Mr Tambuwal said.

“It is our collective responsibility as leaders to come together to rescue our nation from disintegration.

“The country is greatly endowed but the lack of visionary leadership to harness its abundant resources for the benefit of the vast majority account for the poverty ravaging the country.”

Mr Tambuwal also explained his circular political journey, giving reasons why he decamped from PDP to APC in 2014 and then going back to the PDP four years later.

According to him, he left the ruling party APC because of bad governance and the lack of respect for the tenet of democratic principles.

“We left the PDP to form the APC; in the course of time, we began to see signs clearly that the APC itself was affected by some of those misfortunes of bad leadership. And so, we had to leave.” He said.

“I left the All Progressives Party due to the impunity and clear issues of mis-governance and on the lack of respect for the tenet of democratic principles. I have since discovered that the issue of bad governance is worse in the ruling All progressives party.” He said.

“That made us to start coming back to the PDP as a better alternative. At that stage, we realised that PDP was the best option to move the country forward.”

According to him, he decided to contest for president because he knew he has what it would take to make a difference.

“What I am doing is not personal or about myself but a sacrifice for my country; otherwise I can’t leave the comfort of continuing as a governor for what I am embarking upon,” he said.

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