It would be recalled that the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, defied all odds to declare that he would contests for President in 2023 presidential election under the platform of the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party PDP.
However, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who is a strong ally to Tambuwal had weeks ago backed Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State for President, Tambuwal defied that to still declare his bid to contest for the top post weeks later.
Governor Wike is a strong force to reckon with in his party, yet Tambuwal still wants to contest under the platform of the Peoples Democracy Party, PDP even Wike has openly backd another person. However, there are two factors that may favour Tambuwal in his presidential quest apart from the fact that he believes that he is popular.
Firstly, PDP seems to ignore zoning: in the past few years, PDP has always maintained its zoning arrangement when it comes to key posts. In this regard, any time the North produces the National Chairman of the PDP, the South will produce the presidential candidate of the party.
Fortunately, the North produced the National Chairman of the PDP in the person of former Senate President, Iyorchia Ayu from Benue State, yet, the party insists that every member of the party is free to contest for President. This means that whether the person from South or North (like Tambuwal), such person is still free to contest for the post under PDP.
It is becoming clearer that the PDP has ignored zoning which would have affected Tambuwal’ s chances in the presidential race. Ignoring the zoning arrangement is a factor that favours Tambuwal too. So far, he is the only top politician from North West that has declared to contest for the post in PDP.
Secondly, Age is still on his side: As Nigerians are clamouring for younger President, Tambuwal stands a good chance because he is very young. Tambuwal clocked 56 on January 10, 2022. By 2023, Tambuwal will be 57. At that age, he is young enough to stand a better chance over some older aspirants in the race.
By that 2023, Tambuwal would be completing his second term as Governor of Sokoto State. This means that he started playing politics at a very young age and has gathered good experience over the years. Furthermore, it could be recalled that Governor Nyesom Wike made a U- Turn weeks after he openly backed Governor Bala Mohammed.
During his visit to see the Governor, Wike had declared that the chances of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, would be brighter if Mohammed clinched the presidential ticket of PDP. He added that Mohammed had all it takes to win the presidential election. Wike’ s position made serious trends as it was obvious that he was supporting Mohammed’ s presidential bid.
How Wike Made A U- Turn
Governor Nyesom Wike seemed to have made a U- turn as he recently insisted that he backs the decision of the Southern Governors that power must return to South in 2023. The Southern Governors had met in Lagos State last year where they agreed that power must shift to the South in 2023 since President Muhammadu Buhari who is from the North would be competing his second term in 2023. Expectedly, the South should produce the next President.
However, it seems that this arrangement is not being planned going by the body language of the main political parties and the fact that influential Northern politicians are also gearing up to contest for President again in 2023 when Buhari would be vacating office. That was why Southern Governors had to openly declare their stand on the issue.
Wike was present at the meeting in Lagos. Yet, he openly backed Mohammed from Bauchi months later. It seems that Wike has suddenly realized that he might have gone against the decision of the Southern Governors on the issue.
That could be one of the main reasons he made a U- turn to strongly back the power shift to the South in 2023 in line with the decision of Southern Governors. Additionally, there are speculations that Wike may be nursing presidential ambition in 2023. This could be another reason why he decided to back power shift to the South where he hails from.
It is left to be seen if the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and Wike’ s party (PDP) will agree to zone their presidential tickets to the South.