by Oluwatosin Fatoyinbo
A former Associate of General Muhamadu Buhari and former Deputy National Secretary of the Congress For Progressive Change (CPC), Chief Okoi Obono-Obla has taken a swipe at the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal. According to Obla, Tambuwal is not qualified to be President.
Obla who spoke to THISDAY via SMS said that the constitution of the APC disqualifies Tambuwal as he still remains a member of the PDP.
“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.”
According to Obono-Obla, even if Tambuwal defects to the party, he can only contest if allowed by the Party which would be magnaniimous of the APC.
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.”
he went further to say that even if the constitutional impediments were removed, Tambuwal lacked the support base needed to win a presidential ticket of the party.
, “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 then said that Tambuwal lacked what it takes to be an effective President and asserted that General Buhari remains the best option of the APC.
“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. 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,’’ He said.