A former member of the House of Representatives, Victor Afam Ogene, has predicted victory for Governor Aminu Tambuwal in the race for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential ticket.
Ogene, speaking with reporters, said Tambuwal would be the major opposition to President Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate for All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said: “First and foremost, in seeking to confront an incumbent, and possibly triumph, an opposition political party must, in the search for its standard bearer, go beyond the stereotype criteria of settling for the aspirant with the deepest pockets. Remember that in 2014, when the APC settled for General Buhari as its candidate, he was probably the least endowed, financially speaking. And this did not begin with President Buhari.
‘’Indeed, former Presidents Obasanjo, the late Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, did not emerge as flag bearers, and ultimately as elected President, on the strength of financial superiority over those who stood against them in party primaries.
“As you must have observed, the PDP field is star-studded, with virtually all 13 aspirants having the pedigree of name recognition across the country. However, in a contest expected to throw up only one person, the delegates and party elders must evolve a set of criterion, with especially the general election in mind.
“For me, I would compress my benchmark to three simple, yet decisive, issues which are expected to dominate discourse in the electioneering towards 2019 – and of course, ultimately zero in on the aspirant with the most probable chance of winning.”
He added: “The first issue is what I refer to as a clean record of service. Out of the 13 aspirants of the PDP, how many of them possess an unblemished record of service, devoid of inquisition by the anti-graft agencies such as the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)?
‘’I may not be totally correct, but if my memory still serves me without default, I think it is only Aminu Tambuwal that can easily pass this test. In fact, not only is the Sokoto State governor without a file in the offices of the ICPC, the EFCC or Code of Conduct Tribunal, he is also not known to have been issued a police summons in his over 15 years of public service.
“The second consideration to my mind – although closely related to the first – is the issue of immunity. Under the current inclement political climate which we are experiencing, it would be tantamount to foolhardiness for the PDP to settle for a candidate who currently does not enjoy immunity