- The deal Sokoto state Governor Aminu Tambuwal struck with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has been revealed
- Fresh details have emerged on how Atiku became the flagbearer of the opposition party at the last minute on Sunday
- Meanwhile, Governor Tambuwal is said to have been eyeing the senatorial seat in the forthcoming general election
On Sunday, May 29, there were more facts on how former Vice President Atiku Abubakar beat 14 other aspirants to clinch the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday, May 28, The Nation reports.
It was learned that two last-minute negotiations with presidential aspirants from the North, especially Sokoto Governor Aminu Tambuwal, gave Atiku the cutting edge over his closest rival, River state Governor Nyesom Wike.
The former Vice-President had 371 votes as against Wike’s 237.
Tambuwal stepped down for Atiku
Legit.ng gathered that before agreeing to step down, Tambuwal had been in talks with Atiku for the position of president of the senate in 2023.
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However, the intervention of a former National Security Adviser (NSA), acting on behalf of some founders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), made Tambuwal support Atiku.
The same forces accounted for the withdrawal of another aspirant, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, from the race in the early hours of Saturday.
Atiku met with party chieftain and presidential candidates earlier
Also, in order to give all Northern aspirants the benefit of the doubt, Atiku also held a meeting in Transcorp Hilton with Tambuwal, Dr Bukola Saraki, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state and Hayatu-Deen on the need to present him as a common front against Wike.
Wike lost without the support of the Northerners
The Transcorp Hilton session was triggered by an intelligence report that Wike, who had a big war chest, might clinch the ticket without a united North.
Sources at the meeting said the Bauchi governor stormed out after claiming that he was confident of getting the PDP ticket.
Former Senate President Saraki also said he preferred to go the whole hog based on the facts and figures available to him that he was going to triumph at the primary.
A source said:
“As at Friday, the situation was still dicey because Wike gave a good fight and his war chest was massive. For five hours, Atiku was on the phone pleading with all the delegates one by one. He succeeded in reaching out to 95 per cent of the delegates.
“In order not to take chances, it became apparent that there must be some realignment and closing of ranks by Northern aspirants. A former National Security Adviser, Gen. Aliyu Gusau, who probably acted on behalf of the founding fathers of PDP, had a meeting with Atiku and Tambuwal at his residence in Abuja."
2023 presidency: Ayu to Tambuwal - You’re the hero of PDP convention
Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, on Sunday, received a thank you visit from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders and stakeholders.
Tambuwal had during the PDP presidential primary on Saturday stood down for Atiku Abubakar, a development, which eventually gave him victory.
Atiku had during the presidential primary defeated the governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike.
Despite dumping PDP days before primary, Peter Obi sends strong message to Atiku as he emerges flagbearer
A presidential aspirant on the platform of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, had congratulated Atiku Abubakar over his emergence as PDP's presidential flagbearer.
Obi in a message shared via his personal Twitter page described Atiku as his leader and dear brother.
The presidential hopeful also prayed to God to continue to guide Atiku in his political endeavour of becoming Nigeria's next president.