A head of the 2023 presidential election, the newly elected Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum and governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on January Monday 27, 2020 met with the party’s state chairmen.
The meeting, Sunday Independent learnt, was held at the Sokoto State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja.
Although the agenda of the meeting was not made available to our correspondent, it was gathered that it was not unconnected with Tambuwal’s 2023 presidential ambition.
The choice of Tambuwal as the new PDP Governors’ Forum Chairman was unanimous as all the governors in attendance at the party’s 88th National Executive Council (NEC) held at the PDP National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Abuja, resolved and appointed him as their chairman.
A governor’s aide, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said his emergence was like a coup by few governors.
According to the source, the governors who were at the meeting when Tambuwal was elected, were those of Adamawa State (Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri), Taraba State (Darius Ishaku), Bauchi State (Mohammed Bala), Zamfara State (Bello Mohammad Metawalle), Sokoto State (Aminu Tambuwal), Rivers State (Nyesom Wike) and Oyo State (Seyi Makinde).
The PDP governors, absent at the meeting, were those of Benue (Samuel Ortom), Akwa-Ibom (Udom Emmanuel), Cross River (Benedict Ayade), Bayelsa (Seriake Dickson), Enugu (Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi), Ebonyi (David Umahi), Abia (Okezie Ikpeazu) and Delta (Ifeanyi Okowa).
It was gathered that before the meeting that produced Tambuwal, Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, was the choice candidate, but because of vested interests, the governors had to play a fast one on him.
Another source, who spoke with our
correspondent, said that traditionally, the outgoing Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, whose tenure as the PDP Governors’ Chairman Forum would end on February 3, ought to have been in the meeting. Also, a meeting ought to have been scheduled where he would have formally handed over to his successor.
Sunday Independent was also told that Dickson was kept in the dark and was not notified that there would be an election for his replacement that day.
The source further revealed that the Sunday meeting where Tambuwal was elected, was scheduled to address issues in the party, specifically, the issue between Wike and Dickson.
However, reactions had started trailing Tambuwal’s emergence as Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum. A source at the party’s national headquarters said the governor wanted to use this position as a platform to achieve his presidential ambition in 2023.
Some party leaders, it was gathered, had said that the Sokoto State governor could not hold two positions at the same time.
Tambuwal, being Vice Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum, according to the leaders, had to sacrifice one of the positions.
Meanwhile, some aggrieved elders and stakeholders of North Central extraction under the aegis of PDP North Central Stakeholders Forum, said they would not accept Tambuwal’s emergence.
In a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Mallam Nazif Abdullahi, the group said it felt betrayed because the position (Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum), had been zoned to its region based on the fact that Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State was penciled down to succeed the outgoing chairman, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State.
The group stated that in what seemed like a kangaroo assembly, few members of the forum gathered somewhere in Abuja, came to an agreement and was now attempting to foist their wish on the entire membership of the forum; claiming that it was a unanimous decision, even when the incumbent, Dickson and several others were not present at the gathering.
The group equally questioned the rationale behind their decision, more so with Tambuwal as the Deputy Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, asking: “Is he the only qualified PDP governor that he must hold every position that comes to the governors?”
The statement also threatened that the region was seriously considering its continued membership of the party and might dump it, citing frequent dictatorial tendencies and attitudes of certain people who see themselves as demigods in the party.