By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor, Emma Ovuakporie & Levinus Nwabughiogu
Abuja—Affirming his determination not to upset already set political arrangements and upon the counsel of party elders, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal yesterday suspended his participation in the All Progressives Congress, APC presidential contest.
A statement on his political future personally signed by the speaker was, however, quiet on his political future.
Vanguard nevertheless gathered that Tambuwal would in the next days formally affirm his entry into the governorship contest in his native Sokoto State. The APC governorship ticket in the state has been zoned to his senatorial district.
Tambuwal’s decision to pull out of the contest was upon high level politicking and followed serious pressures after about 80 members of the House of Representatives purchased the expression of interest and nomination forms for him to contest the presidential election.
Yesterday, the speaker commended all those who contributed the N27.5 million for the purchase of the forms which party sources disclosed would not be refunded.
He said: “A few days ago, precisely on Friday, the 14th of November, 2014, a group of friends, associates, colleagues and admirers cutting across all ages, ethnic, social, religious, political and geographical divides presented to me the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for me to participate in the presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) for the 2015 Presidential Election.”
“On that auspicious occasion, being profoundly humbled, I requested for a little more time to conclude my last round of the series of nationwide consultations which indeed I was just about to conclude.”
While commending those who purchased the forms, he said the bid was not to actualise a personal ambition but to address the monumental challenges that have stifled growth, nurtured institutionalised corruption, gross incompetence among others, he said: “I am convinced that with the progressive spirit and teamwork these objectives are attainable under an APC administration.”
“I have carefully considered the concerns expressed by some of our leaders, whom I deeply respect and whose support and counsel I enjoy,to the effect that my entry into the presidential race at this point may necessitate having to rework some equations on the political chessboard of the party.”
“Having consulted widely, taking into consideration the concerns of some elders of the party, I have decided to suspend my participation in the presidential contest for now. I have done so as a sacrifice for the cohesion and unity of the APC. I am suspending my participation in the presidential race for now because I do not have any inordinate ambition to occupy any office.
“I pledge my loyalty to our party, the APC and cooperation with my uncles and senior brothers and colleagues, who are already in the race for the APC presidential ticket: I refer to; General Muhamadu Buhari, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Governor Rochas Okorocha and Mr Sam Ndah-Isaiah. There is no doubt that they are all eminently qualified.”