Barring any last-minute change of mind, Aminu Tambuwal, Governor of Sokoto State, will announce his defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday.
Ahead of the planned defection, Tambuwal is currently in Abuja holding a series of meetings aimed towards perfecting the official announcement of his defection.
A source in the camp of the former House of Representatives Speaker told SaharaReporters on Tuesday afternoon that Tambuwal was never made to feel at home in the APC; and in addition, he understands that his “moderate” chances of becoming President in 2019 will be better explored in the PDP.
“There’s been a lot of discrimination in APC, the source said.
“Those who joined from the CPC and the ACN are treated like the aboriginal APC members, while the outcasts are the PDP people. Tambuwal has never been allowed to fully operate; Tambuwal and others like Bukola Saraki have not been given the free hand to operate. They believe that they have been marginalized; they’ve always been seen as intruders who used the party’s platform to get to power.
“Now, Tambuwal wants to run for President, and he has a good chance. His chance his moderate and the man himself is not extreme in his ideas. He is approachable. His defection has been in the works like you already know, but he wants to make it public tomorrow.”
On Tambuwal’s chances, the source said: “He is a likely contender. The political heavyweights in the North see Rabiu Kwankwaso as extreme in his approach, but they see Tambuwal as a more moderate person who can lead a diverse country like Nigeria.”
Tambuwal’s original defection from the PDP to the APC was at about this time in relation to the 2015 general election. After months of speculations and denial despite openly fraternizing with the APC, Tambuwal, as House of Reps Speaker, defected in October 2014 and quickly adjourned till December 3.
His popularity soared within weeks, as the Federal Government’s withdrawal of his security aides earned him enormous public sympathy. At a point when the North was finding it difficult to arrive at a consensus candidate to neutralize the Atiku Abubakar threat, Bola Tinubu, National leader of the APC, considered Tambuwal the ‘Plan B’ to Muhammadu Buhari.
Such was the extent of his growing popularity that Imam Imam, his late spokesman, subsequently announced on November 13, 2014: “Earlier today, some friends and political associates of the speaker notified him that they have brought the forms for him.”
However, the N10million spent in procuring the ticket came to waste, as Tambuwal eventually contested and won the Sokoto State governorship election.
This time, the source in Tambuwal’s camp maintains no such waste will happen.
“As we speak, that is 2pm Nigerian time on Tuesday, the plan is for Tambuwal to contest for the PDP presidential ticket; and first of all, he will announce his return to PDP to a gathering of supporters in Sokoto tomorrow,” the source said.