It is becoming clearer to those who have faith in Atiku’s candidacy under PDP that he is may not get the ticket.Forces against him are formidable! Now, there are indications that pressure is being mounted on Gombe State governor and a presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, to drop his ambition ahead of the party’s presidential primary election.
Dankwambo who declared his presidential ambition barely two weeks ago is now under pressure from some political leaders and traditional rulers in the Northern part of the country to step down for Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal. Recall that Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, is one of the political heavyweights who recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the PDP.
The choice of Tambuwal, according to our findings, is borne out of the belief that he has a larger clout to pull through the race than Dankwambo. Sources closed to the governor told our correspondents that based on the pressure mounted on him and the support now given to Tambuwal, the Talban Gombe is now considering running for the senatorial seat of Gombe North. “This is why there is no serious aspirant in the senatorial race for the zone. The seat is reserve for him”, a close associate of the governor who did not want his name in print said.
Besides, Tambuwal’s visit to Gombe where he commissioned a street named after him last weekend has added fillers that it may also be a sign that Dankwambo would align himself with the Sokoto State governor.
Hon Yusuf Manu Swa, a close political associate of Dankwambo and a member of his cabinet presently serving as commissioner of cooperative, has been appointed to coordinate Tambuwal’s presidential campaign in the state. One of our sources said many of those calling on Dankwambo to step down believe that Tambuwal’s candidacy will be a boost to efforts being made by the PDP to defeat the APC in the fortycoming general election.
According to him, the thinking is that a strong candidate from the same Northwest zone where President Mohammadu Buhari comes from stands a better chance of defeating APC. “Tambuwal is unarguably the most experienced politician in the zone at the moment whose sagacity in political scheming, intrigues and tactics have garnered for him respect and admiration in the domains of Nigeria politics”, he said. It was also gathered that Dankwambo expressed some doubts a few days ago about the possibility of him emerging victorious should he continue with his presidential aspiration. Efforts by our correspondent to speak with some of Dankwambo’s close political allies, including Manu Swa, since he has no spokesman in his team proved abortive.
But Governor Dankwambo yesterday evening denied that he was under pressure to step down for Governor Tambuwal. Speaking through the Gombe State commissioner for Information, Alhaji Umaru Nafada, the governor said there is no iota of truth in the story, stating that he is not going to abandon his presidential ambition by stepping down for any other aspirant. Nafada said, “Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo has declared to contest the presidential election and as far as he and a lot of Nigerians are concerned, he is the most suitable aspirant for that position from PDP. So, he has no intension of withdrawing or stepping aside for anybody, not even Tambuwal”. The commissioner assured that Dankwambo’s quest to clinch the presidential ticket of the PDP was on course, stressing that he has no reason to quit at this point.
He said the governor has demonstrated his seriousness about the presidential race by making wide consultations across the country and reaching out to people. Nafada noted that if Dankwambo were not interested in pursuing his presidential ambition, he wouldn’t waste time, energy and money moving around. He added that Dankwambo has the acceptability and clout to win as well as the knack to organise the party and make it a formidable force against the APC. On Tambuwal’s visit to the state, Nafada said it was like the visit of any other PDP leader to the state to commission a project.