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2015 Presidency: Tambuwal Not Qualified to Contest in APC, Says Buhari’s Aide

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IMAGE: Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, the former Head of State General Muhammadu Buhari »


A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and close associate of the former Head of State General Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, has declared that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, is not qualified to contest the presidential election in 2015 on the platform of the party.

Obono-Obla, a radical lawyer and anti-corruption crusader, stated this against the backdrop of speculations making the rounds in the country that Tambuwal intends to contest the next presidential election on the APC platform.

Reacting to the speculations yesterday through a text he made available to THISDAY in Calabar, Obono-Obla argued that at the moment, certain provisions of the APC constitution disqualifies Tambuwal from flying the flag of the party, especially as the speaker is still a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Obono-Obla, who served as the Deputy National Secretary of defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), said: “Speculation is rife in the media and rumour parlours of the possibility of Tambuwal defecting to the APC in order to seek nomination as its presidential candidate for the 2015 general election. He has still not defected, despite months of speculation that he wants to defect to the opposition.

“The last time Tambuwal was confronted by media over the probability of his running for nomination of the APC presidential ticket, he said he was still consulting.

“Last week the APC released the guidelines for the conduct of its presidential primary election to nominate its presidential candidate for the 2015 general election. Tentatively, the date for the obtaining of the expression of interest form for the presidential primary election is September 24, and the sale of nomination form will start on September 25 to the October 2, 2015.

“The  October 25 has been fixed as the date for the holding of the national special convention to endorse and ratify the presidential candidate of the APC.
“It is an incontrovertible fact that Tambuwal is not a member of the APC. He is therefore not eligible to contest in its presidential primary election or seek the nomination of its presidential ticket.

“Article 20 (iv) (a) of the constitution of the APC, 2013 (as amended) provides that an aspirant seeking nomination at the party primary election must be a financially up-to-date member who has paid all dues as and when due.

“It is therefore beyond argument that Tambuwal is not a financially up-to-date member of the APC because he is not a member of the party. He is not qualified to contest in the APC presidential primary election.”

Obono-Obla explained that should Tambuwal resign from the PDP with the intent of contesting the presidential election on the stable of the APC, he can only do so based on the magnanimity of the party.

He said: “However, if Tambuwal resigns his membership of the PDP and defects to the APC he can only be eligible to contest in the presidential primary election if he is granted a waiver by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party by virtue of Schedule II (2) of the APC constitution. Schedule II (1) (i) of the APC Constitution provides thus: “No person shall be eligible to contest for any party position or be nominated by the Party to be its candidate at any election if the person is not a Member of the party.”

Obono-Obla argued that aside the impediments constitutional requirements of the APC may pose to the presidential aspiration of Tambuwal as being speculated; the speaker lacks the political support base that can afford him the presidential ticket of the party.

Obono-Obla said, “In any case, even if Tambuwal is granted a waiver (in the event he defects to APC and decides to seek its presidential nomination) he would be placed in a disadvantageous position because he does not belong to any of the four blocks that constitute the APC. These are the Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s bloc; Buhari’s bloc; the old ANPP bloc; and the governors’ bloc.”

Obono-Obla, who said the speaker lacks what it takes to be an effective Nigerian president, said Buhari remains the best material the APC can field as its presidential candidate to send the PDP packing from the presidency in 2015.

“Decidedly, the APC will be shooting itself if it nominates as it presidential candidate a ‘green horn’ such as Tambuwal. Tambuwal evidently lacks the political savvy and experience to run the affairs of a badly fractured country like Nigeria despite the media hype about his chances in a presidential race.

“Undeniably, General Buhari is the only aspirant among the rumoured aspirants in the APC that can give President Goodluck Jonathan a run for his money in the presidential race. Buhari is hugely popular in the Northern region of Nigeria. The support of Buhari in the North is contagious, enthusiastic and infectious.”

According to him, “In the 2011 general election, Buhari got a huge 13 million votes across the country despite the fact that his campaign was plagued by lack of money; poor preparation; a weak party platform and the election was massively rigged in favour of the PDP.

“Buhari, as a presidential candidate of a better structured APC, a mega national party, is very much capable of causing an upset,’’ Obono-Obla said.

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     APC     Chief Okoi Obono-Obla     Tambuwal     PDP     NWC     Bola Ahmed Tinubu     President Goodluck Jonathan