The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has given up his ambition to contest the 2015 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, his political associates said Tuesday.
Lawmakers close to the speaker told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Tambuwal was standing down despite pressure on him to go ahead with the presidential race.
“Despite the pressure from us and from others on him to contest the presidential election, the speaker, I believe, is trying to withdraw,” a senior lawmaker said.
The speaker will now contest as the governor of his home Sokoto State, the source said.
Mr. Tambuwal’s office did not confirm or deny if he was standing down.
His spokesperson, Imam Imam, said if any decision was taken, it would be duly made public.
But sources told PREMIUM TIMES Mr. Tambuwal will no longer challenge a former head of state, Muhammadu Buhari, and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who are also vying for APC’s presidential ticket.
The speaker joined the presidential race last week after defecting from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to opposition APC in October.
His defection triggered a fierce controversy over whether he should remain speaker since the APC is in minority in the House of Representatives.
In response, President Goodluck Jonathan ordered the withdrawal of Mr. Tambuwal’s police protection.
On Monday, Mr. Tambuwal withdrew a lawsuit challenging the government’s decision to strip him of state protection.
The speaker’s office had earlier said Mr. Tambuwal was drafted into the presidential race by lawmakers who purchased the party’s nomination forms on his behalf.