The Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has said he has what it takes to compete against president Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election.
Mr Tambuwal, who dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was reacting to a statement by the APC leader, Bola Tinubu.
Mr Tinubu had in a statement on Sunday said the Sokoto State governor left because of his presidential ambition which he said Mr Tambuwal will not be able to actualise.
“Governor Tambuwal’s exit can be distilled to one cause. He covets the presidency. However, he had not the stomach to challenge President Buhari in a primary. Tambuwal felt further insulted that he would be compelled to face a direct primary just to retain the governorship nomination.
“But for the promise made by PDP headliners like Rivers State Governor Wike that he would have the PDP presidential nomination, Tambuwal would not have left. His exit had nothing to do with governance of the nation. It was about forging a personal ambition predicated on the defeat of progressive reform not the advancement of it,” Mr Tinubu said.
Mr Tambuwal last week said he was under pressure from some leaders in and outside Nigeria to run for the presidency.
However, on Monday, Mr Tambuwal replied the APC leader via the state’s official twitter account, @sokotogovthouse, where he denied Mr Tinubu’s allegations.
“If I wanted to and if the Presidency is what (why) Ahmed Tinubu thinks I defected, I could contest with President Buhari under the APC. I have what it takes to have contested with Mr. President.
“Tinubu tried to rock the boat when he was denied Buhari’s vice presidency. He thinks every other person could behave his way. If I wanted to contest under the APC as president, I could have done so and only the votes could have produced a winner.
“In any case, Tinubu is confessing that there is no level-playing ground for all members of the APC; that there is no internal democracy in it and that some people were denied their right to internal democracy,” he tweeted. https://twitter.com/SokotoGovtHouse/status/1031405808490344449?s=19
The governor said automatic ticket from the APC is not why he left the party.
“I adduced reasons of my defection to the PDP. The reasons are still on record. Automatic ticket by the APC is certainly not part of that,” he said.
Mr Tambuwal was not the only one attacked by the APC leader.
Mr Tinubu had said the same of senate president Bukola Saraki.
“Much the same for Senate President Saraki. Returning to the PDP, he harbors dreams of the presidency but Tambuwal’s ambition will dwarf Saraki’s when the two collide. If Saraki had remained in the APC, he would be unable to reclaim his Senate seat let alone the Senate Presidency. He thus bolted because he lusts for the presidency but was promised by the PDP, at least, a return to his position in the Senate,” part of Mr Tinubu’s statement read.
Mr Saraki in a statement on Monday said the reasons advanced by Mr Tinubu were false and mischievous.
He listed as reasons for his exit ‘contempt’ for the National Assembly by the Buhari administration and also vowed to keep his position.