With barely three weeks to the forthcoming national convention of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) where the party is expected to pick its candidate for next year’s presidential election, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state has identified the youthful age of his Sokoto state counterpart, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, as a great asset to Nigeria.
Fayose made the remark in Ado-Ekiti on Friday when Governor Tambuwal, one of the party’s presidential aspirants, visited to solicit support from the state’s delegates.
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 age, Tambuwal’s experience in the legislature, where he served as Speaker of the House of Representatives for four years, as executive governor for nearly four years, eminently qualifies 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,” Fayose said.
He charged Tambuwal not to be afraid but to work hard “so that we can remove this …. The fall of a tyrant always comes when he least expects it. ”
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 a high number of hotel rooms that can accommodate our delegates.”
Earlier, Governor Tambuwal informed his hosts: “We are here on this soil of Ekiti land where I own a number of chieftancy 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,” 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 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 election in 2015 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. I have that experience because as a principal officer of the House of Representatives before becoming Speaker, I traversed the length and breadth oh 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 shout 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. ” I will not be that leader that considers national security more important than human rights,” he added.
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 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, the interest of the state must be recognized and addressed.
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. Murtala Aliyu, Abubakar Koto, Aliyu Mohammed and Hon. Yemi Arokodare, among others.