Barring any last minute change, three Presidential aspirants of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will step down for Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state ahead of Saturday’s convention.
The Sokoto state governor is said to be the favourite to clinch the ticket, as he has the backing of Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom WIke, who is currently the party’s biggest financier.
According to a report by Sahara Reporters, Tambuwal group is said to be pushing, and has made considerable progress, for the withdrawal of Sule Lamido; Sen. David Mark and Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo, the outgoing Governor of Gombe State, from the race to support the former House of Representatives Speaker.
A source familiar with the development stated that “the Tambuwal camp has been able to reach out to some of the aspirants.”
“They have been able to get David Mark, Lamido, Dankwambo to step down for Tambuwal between today and at the convention ground tomorrow. For now, that is the plan.
“They are also trying to work with Kwanwaso but he has not given them any positive response for now. They are working on Ahmed Makarfi as well,” the source said.
An undisclosed source to Sahara Reporters that the proposed withdrawal of these aspirants is only part of a larger scheme to ensure Tambuwal emerges the winner at all costs. The main scheme, the source says, is to tamper with the delegates list.
The source noted that there is a process of selecting delegates across the states. For states where they have loyalists, and for states where they have governors who dance to the tune of Wike, they are trying to manufacture some delegates.
“You have statutory delegates, automatic delegates. Automatic delegates are the Exco members, statutory delegates are former governors, former deputy governors and members of the House of Assembly and so on, while there are also delegates from the local governments. Now, most aspirants don’t know who is who across the states, since they’re coming from the national level.
“So what they did was that they put two, three up to 10 names that are a bit shady on the final delegates list; you cannot trace them as members of the House of Assembly, you cannot trace them as Local Government Exco. For example, for states where they have 10 members of the House of Assembly that are members of PDP, they tried to make it 15 or 20. And it’s a total of around 700 that, if push comes to shove, they would use for Tambuwal as guaranteed delegates.
“But they are also doing that to justify the shady delegates list they’re preparing. If these guys step down, it will look to the people as though the supporters of these aspirants were the ones who voted for Tambuwal.”
When contacted, Simeon Nwakaudu, Tambuwal’s spokesman, declined to react, according to Sahara Reporters.
Meanwhile, Governor Dankwambo has denied the report, saying he is loyal to PDP and that the report “does not make any sense”.
“False. I’m a 2nd term governor. I have been loyal to the PDP. This does not make any sense. They sold a dummy to you,” Dankwambo wrote on Twitter in reaction to the SR publication.
I’m a 2nd term governor.
I have been loyal to the PDP.
This does not make any sense.
They sold a dummy to you. https://t.co/mM1LnYsUpk
— Governor Dankwambo (@HEDankwambo) October 5, 2018