Tambuwal meets Obasanjo, Mark, Danjuma over 2023 Presidency

It was said that the meeting lasted for more than two hours before the governor departed for Sokoto.
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Aminu Tambuwal

Governor of the state at Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal, on Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) basis, has begun consultations with some prominent political leaders over his presidential ambition.

The Nigeria Gazette learned that the consultations started last Thursday when he met with Senator David Mark, the former Senate President, during which he addressed his ambition.

Tambuwal was to resume the consultation on Saturday with visits to a former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) former Minister of Defence.

The governor had met with Obasanjo behind closed doors in his Pent House Presidential Library in Abeokuta for about an hour.

A statement by Obasanjo 's special media assistant, Mr. Kehinde Akinyemi, had quoted the governor as saying that he was meeting the former president to meet with him on governance issues and others.

“You know Baba is our leader, statesman. And it is always good for us to come around to see how he is doing, pay homage and consult him on many issues of governance. That is why we have come this afternoon. And, we brought him the greetings and felicitations of the good people of Sokoto State,”
the statement had quoted the governor, who was a leading contender for the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election season, as saying.

Yesterday, however, it was learned that the key reason for the visit, identified as unplanned by the former president's assistant, was for Tambuwal to feel the pulse of Obasanjo on his presidential offer.

Sources told newsmen that Tambuwal headed to Lagos after the meeting with Obasanjo where he held talks with Danjuma at his residence.

He was said to have briefed the former minister on his 2023 presidential campaign.

It was said that the meeting lasted for more than two hours before the governor departed for Sokoto.

The investigation also revealed that Tambuwal had been visiting Mark in his Abuja residence on Thursday as part of the series of consultations.

Nonetheless, the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) has not officially confirmed the party's 2023 presidential ticket zoning plan, as The Gazette Nigeria has learned that the main opposition party is said to be waiting for the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to make a decision before announcing the area from which its candidate will emerge.

Once newsmen contacted PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, for his opinion on the talks with Tambuwal, he said zoning was not yet on PDP's agenda.

Nonetheless, the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) has not officially confirmed the party's 2023 presidential ticket zoning plan, as THISDAY has learned that the main opposition party is said to be waiting for the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to make a decision before announcing the area from which its candidate will emerge.

Once newsmen contacted PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, for his opinion on the talks with Tambuwal, he said zoning was not yet on PDP 's agenda.

According to him, Tambuwal has solid credentials that makes him fit for the job.

“He is the youngest in the race with a loaded credentials both in the executive and legislature arms of government. Moreover, he is a lawyer. That is the judicial arm.”

The Governor has spent four years as Speaker of the House of Representatives and is about to complete his eight-year term as Governor of Sokoto State, he said, adding that he is currently the Deputy Chairman of the Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF) and also the Chairman of the PDP Governors' Forum.

The source clarified that Tambuwal also enjoys the blessing of PDP governors, who make up the party's crucial power bloc.

“Take it or leave it, political pundits say that he is the aspirant to beat. He carries PDP governors along with him and the South-east is merely jostling for the vice presidential position,” the source said.

Nonetheless, the source added that he's still involved in contesting the presidential election in 2023 from the body language of a former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

But he said age could not be on his side as he will be 77 years old by then, noting that the perception that President Muhammadu Buhari's success has been compromised by old age and health problems that make Nigerians wary of entrusting power to another near-septuagenarian in 2023.

A former late President Shehu Shagari 's assistant, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, had also told newsmen that every opposition party must follow a zoning scheme which would gain it votes if it is serious about winning the next presidential election.

Yakassai clarified that the other political parties that also follow a zoning concept would not tailor their zoning structures to suit the ruling party.

“It does not mean that opposition party must align with the zoning arrangement of the other party. In other words, if one party produces a candidate from the North, the next one should produce from the South. But zoning arrangement cannot prevent another party from producing candidate from the zone where the other party had produced a candidate that occupy that office at one time,” he stated.

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