Saturday, 28 May 2022 06:10

[OPINION] Aminu Tambuwal’s date with destiny - Richard Imafidon

“There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. 

Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.

 

On such a full sea are we now afloat.

And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”

When the timeless William Shakespeare penned those immortal words in his eponymous play, Julius Caesar, he was at his usual prophetic best, leaving behind for man the critical need to seize the moment and make a difference. He must have seen the 28th and 29th of May 2022. He must have sensed that a people would need this admonition and that their heeding its warning, would take a right step to emplace a people again on the path to a glorious destiny. He must have seen the man, His Excellency Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, former Speaker of the Nigerian Senate and currently serving governor of Sokoto State for the second tenure.

This writing is a positive prognosis of current political happenings which very clearly favour his Excellency, Governor Tambuwal to become the flag-bearer of the PDP in the 2023 presidential elections. It is also an appeal for a few naysayers not to topple a time-tested and destiny-arranged apple cart in whose possession we will find the energy to take this nation to a desirable future after the 2023 presidential elections.

That time-tested and battle ready PDP is needed to bring this country out of the morass and to allow the entire nation to enjoy the democratic dividends much spoken about but hardly seen is not in question. Who to serve as arrowhead for this onerous task is the question at this moment. Giving the right answer to this question will determine whether the PDP, as constituted, will give the ruling APC a good run for the coveted seat or whether it would be a walkover, a thought which, God forbid, cannot even be imagined by anyone who wishes this country well in the days and years to come.

Showcasing the personality and achievements of his Excellency Governor Tambuwal as a leader, democrat and force in the political equation of Nigeria is probably not the most critical for the immediate battle at the primaries. Yet, we need to look beyond these primaries and realise that the head that wears the crown inside Aso Rocks from 2023 is critical to the survival of this nation. Combining his experience as a leader of men and a manager of resources with his very widespread acceptability, we have a force that will garner the needed votes from delegates in the forthcoming PDP primaries and use this as a springboard to present a capable, winning front for the PDP in the general elections next year. The facts speak too eloquently for any to disregard.

What facts? Realising the wide appeal that Tambuwal enjoys across the nation, and realising that winning the primaries is just one step to the presidency, with the bigger fight being the general elections, we have it on very good information that a spate of stepping downs will herald the primaries itself. And, the major target for this massive surrender is at the feet of the only truly nationalist candidate whose echoes are already heard in over 10 states as a sure recipient of block votes and one contending strongly in 14 others. Tambuwal towers above closest rivals like Atiku whose sway cannot hold in the critical Northeastern region.

Nyesom Wike and Udom Emmanuel may sweep their Rivers and Akwa Ibom States respectively, but the remaining South-south remain a battle ground for grabs depending on whose stature towers large and what kind of networking a candidate is capable of activating.  My Edo State is a most certainly lost case for Wike, no thanks to the ire with the sitting governor. Bayelsa is likely to root for Tambuwal even if the nearby Delta State could prove tough for him. Cross River State is likely to be a four-part sharing considering that none of those contesting can achieve full sway in the territory.

In the Southwest, the battles will be fierce in Lagos among the two northern candidates and Wike. No matter Wike’s strength in Ekiti and Oyo States, Tambuwal will make a good showing in Ogun, Osun and Ondo States against the other contestants. Tambuwal also stands a chance among delegates for Kogi and will make a good showing for Nasarawa and Niger States. If Tambuwal can enlarge his current paths into Benue and Plateau States, then he is closer to becoming the arrowhead of the PDP’s effort to take back the nation and set it on the path of recovery.

The Southeast always looked good for Tambuwal. The social media and regular media hints about the responses of the people across the Niger in his handling of the recent unpleasant happenings in Sokoto show clearly that he is one candidate from the north that the East would gladly trust and support. On this, no other candidate comes near. Neither Atiku nor Wike can have the kind of support he can get from that region.

As I suggested before, the stature that Governor Tambuwal presents is one that certainly makes him the choice candidate for the position of president of this nation. Rising through the ranks as a minor player in the fourth assembly, minority leader in the House of Representatives of the fifth assembly, deputy whip of the House of Representatives in the sixth assembly and Speaker of the House of Representatives in the seventh assembly are credentials that stand him out as one who has understood the workings of legislative democratic governance. Today, he serves as governor of Sokoto State.  His fellow governors are major players in this election and would want a governor like them to emerge ahead of Atiku and Saraki who are not sitting governors. Although Wike still serves as a governor, Wike’s acceptance among the ranks of current governors does not measure against that of Waziri Tambuwal for obvious reasons known to observers of the political atmosphere of the nation as the elections draw near.

His Excellency Governor Waziri Tambuwal is the choicest candidate to bear the flag for the PDP in the forthcoming presidential elections if the PDP is serious about occupying Aso Rock in 2023.

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