Sokoto State governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Aminu Tambuwal, has assured that he will support agitation to restructure Nigeria if elected president of Nigeria in 2019.
Tambuwal, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, made this promise in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Friday, while meeting with the delegates of the party in the state.
The aspirant recently dumped the All Progressives Congress to the PDP where he intends to realise his presidential ambition.
He said his campaign would not fan the embers of ethnicity, and would be devoid of elements of sectionalism “as being experienced under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government”.
He said he decided to contest the 2019 presidential election after realising the lopsidedness in the Buhari administration in terms of poor performance and failure of governance.
Tambuwal said he had thought through the cost of being a president of a complex nation like Nigeria, and had joined the race to offer dynamic leadership.
He urged the PDP members not to waver in spite of “oppression and humiliation” being meted on some of their leaders by the APC-led federal government.
“The focus of every Nigerian in 2019 is to vote for a president that is Pan-Nigerian. A man who is not an ethnic jingoist or religious bigot,” Tambuwal said.
“We are all aware that the present government is desperate to perpetuate itself in power. They are ready to do those things outside the laws of the land to remain in power. That is why they have been harassing leaders like Governor Ayodele Fayose.
“You must try and give the PDP flag to someone who believes in the unification of this country, someone who has traversed the length and breadth of this nation. Someone who has moved from Maiduguri to Lagos, from Port Harcourt to Sokoto and from the east to the extreme north as a private person.
“As the former deputy minority whip, minority leader and Speaker in the House of Representatives, I have an idea about the geographical configuration of this nation, so I am in good position to respect individual rights .
“I will not be that President that will shut the doors against restructuring, I will even facilitate debate that will quickly enhance true and proper fiscal federalism. As a leader, it is not good for you to impose your will on the people, you must allow diverse opinions based on our religious and ethnic diversity.”
He also urged the members of the party to be resolute in spite of the alleged intimidation of members using the state apparatuses, saying, “We need a courageous PDP to take over power in 2019″.
He thanked Fayose for his resilience and leadership.
Fayose, in his remarks, described the APC-led federal government as a ‘monster’ that was only interested in oppressing people with power, rather than transforming their lives .
He said the federal government had denied the state from benefiting from the N2.5 billion budget support and N11 billion Paris Club funds released to some states recently.
The outgoing governor urged the aspirant to campaign for the PDP “the way he did in 2015 for President Buhari”.
“You (Tambuwal) were one of those who repackaged President Buhari in 2015 and ensured he won the presidential election. You must make sure you do same in the 2019 election,” Fayose said.
“Every now knows that we need a youthful president with energy. Someone who can see Nigeria as one indivisible entity, not a tribalist and religious bigot. The treasure of any man is his vitality, which would make him work harder to deliver his people from poverty.
“Look at what they did now, they excluded Ekiti from N11.6 billion Paris Club (cash) and N2.5 billion budget support fund I would have used to pay the backlog of salaries.
“I want to appeal to all workers to ensure that the money is not diverted. They should ensure that it is used to pay their salaries the way I would have loved to do.
“So, in selecting the presidential candidate for our party, Ekiti delegates will vote wisely. We will vote for a president we can trust and the one that will see all Nigerians as one.”