I’m Ready for Nigeria – Tambuwal
Being text of speech of Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (CFR, Mutawallen Sokoto) at a meeting with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC) at the party’s secretariat in Abuja on Friday, May 6, 2022.
I believe that all of you will come under pressure from all sources, pressure of work and pressure of various and varied degrees of interests but I believe that you have the capacity to stay on course, to be fair and firm at the same time and provide leadership to our party, which we all desire, so that we can collectively and together win this election and begin the process of rebuilding our country.
Mr. Chairman, we’re all in agreement, that is what I can call consensus, that we are facing greater dangers than we’ve never faced before. Our country has been divided as never before. Our economy is in shambles. The security ravaging the country has never been this bad.
The general summation of the situation of the country is that we are inching towards a failed state. I’m not saying that Nigeria is already a failed state, but we’re inching towards that.
Therefore, it is our responsibility to collectively work together towards rescuing our country, retrieving country from APC before the deed is done.
PDP as a political party is poised and positioned to provide that platform and facilitation towards the achievement of this very, very important objective of very many Nigerians, majority of Nigerians who are dissatisfied with what is happening.
For the records, PDP was in power from 1999 to 2015 and PDP as of the time it left in 2014, left power for APC, the general indices of our economy, the economic situation, the unemployment rate and all of that.
Where are we today? We’re all very aware of our situation. What is happening to our unity.
So many Nigerians, when they wake up, they ask themselves: ‘what am I doing here?’ Those who can find their way have already left and several are processing their way out of this country because of their belief that Nigeria is not working for all of us.
But we cannot all be that disappointed, disenchanted to begin to process papers to leave this country. Some of us must remain behind and slug it out through the democratic process to retrieve and reposition our country; and, work towards rebuilding it.
And that’s why we’re here today.
Mr Chairman, in 1998, I threw my hat into the ring and contested for the primaries of our party in Port Harcourt. And to the glory of God Alhaji Atiku Abubakar emerged as our candidate and I came second; and, we worked assiduously together and collectively towards ensuring that we won the election; and we did win the elections but we were manipulated out of it.
And here we are again. The season is here. Very many supporters of mine and very many leaders of this country have spoken to me about coming back to try again.
That’s why I am here, Mr chairman. Yes, we’re in the process and we are very prepared for that leadership. This country is looking for a unifier and I believe that with my experience, I ticked that box.
I believe that if you look at my experience and my past in the National Assembly, where I spent 12 unbroken years, from being a member of House of Representatives, to Deputy Chief Whip, to Minority Leader, Deputy Chief Whip and the Speaker of the House, I built a network of friends across the length and breadth of this country.
And, I do quite honestly, believe that I understand the dynamics of Nigeria. I understand this country very well and I have a fair knowledge of its peoples and their concerns.
And I believe that I can be that unifier that all the tendencies in this country can accept as the candidate of our party, and I can be used by the party to win the elections convincingly.
Mr. Chairman, from my track record, being a lawyer by training a Member of Parliament and governor as at today, I believe that I have the right experience in governance, not just governance but democratic governance; not just democratic governance, but also good governance; to tick that box that we’re looking for, an experienced person who is used to a federal structure of governance, not a provincial structure of governance at a state level; and, I believe that I understand the constitution of this country very well as a lawyer. So with all of this experience, I can foot the bill.
Mr. Chairman, the youth of Nigeria have been speaking that they want leadership that is closer to them in terms of age.
Mr. Chairman, I am one of those that I believe has those qualities, who has the experience of not not just a youth or younger person. When you look at the 17 of us as at now, when you check, I believe I’m one of the youngest among those who running on the platform of the PDP.
Mr. chairman, I have a little experience in governance. I have been a party man, at various times, at local level. I’ve been Organizing Secretary of our party, the Legal Advisor of our party. So, I know the party administration to some extent, and I’m chairman of the PDP Governors Forum.
So, I’ve been working with the National Working Committee of our party in managing the affairs of the party and I appreciate the significance and importance of party leaders and party leadership and consultation with the party.
When we get there, and by the grace of God, we’ll get there, we will make sure that our manifesto is implemented by your government, the government of the Republic of Nigeria.
Under my watch, I will make sure that we consult the party on party policies and party issues because we know that the NWC we have, is rich enough to advise our party.
Nobody can take it away from you, Mr. Chairman, and members of this working committee, that you have all it takes to serve as a guide and guidance to any government in this country, be that government at the federal or the state level.
You have a lot of knowledgeable people from National Working Committee and leadership of our party. We must benefit from their experience in running the administration.
We will be in constant touch and consultation with you, so that we can proceed with the implementation of party programs that we must have agreed on, because it’s not about the individual aspirants manifesto.
When we get the ticket, what really we’re going to run on, is the manifesto of the party. So, we must be in consultation with the party. And Mr. Chairman, I assure you that we shall do that consultation.
In any case, by background as a lawmaker, I have always been consultative. I believe in consultation. I believe in inclusiveness, and I believe in democratic governance. For you to succeed, you must consult. You must get involved and you must have views.
I believe, in addition, in finding people of competence, people of character who can do the job and give them the task of doing the job. So, collectively, we shall work together as a team. Mr. Chairman, I believe that I have the right temperament.
In Nigeria today, we are looking for leadership with the right temperament. Temperament is key and important going forward in this country. And we must have a leadership that will bring everybody around the table and discuss about the problem of Nigeria. Is it structural? Is it about restructuring? Is it about the economy? Is it about power? Whatever it is Chairman, I assure you that when we get there, we shall go back to those days of the PDP where we’ll be having sectoral interactions on agriculture, the economy, power, health and education. [It should] not be a situation where ASUU will be left to be on strike for this long.
And I believe that if the PDP should at the end of the day give me the (Presidential) ticket of the party, by His grace, we will win the elections convincingly because I am that bridge that Nigerians need as for today. A bridge between the old and the young, and the bridge that will now continue to reconnect every part of this country. I believe I have all of qualities.
Mr Chairman, and I am sure knowing your working committee, you will preside over a very transparent and free National Convention where level playing field will be given to all of us, so that whoever emerges, it will be easy for the party to call around all of us will so that we will work towards delivering that candidate.