2019: Sule Lamido kicks off presidency race
Unveils plan to 36 PDP state chairmen at Abuja dinner
By Ismail Omipidan
Immediate past governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, has kickstarted the 2019 presidential race, with two years left in the administration of the All Progressives Congress.
Lamido unveiled his presidential bid on Monday, at a dinner for the 36 state chairmen of the Peoples Democractic Party (PDP), in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The dinner/meeting, Daily Sun gathered, held at a highbrow facility in Abuja’s affluent Maitama district.
Lamido’s declaration came barely two weeks after he was released on bail, from prison, over allegation of incitement, preferred against him by the Jigawa State Government, and 24 hours after three former commissioners and three ex-local government area chairmen who served in his administration were also released from prison.
Lamido was said to have unveiled his plans to the 36 state chairmen and all the six national zonal vice chairmen, at the Abuja dinner.
One of his close confidants, confirmed the development to Daily Sun, yesterday. He disclosed that the former governor told the gathering that Nigeria, as a country, has done him a lot of good and the only way he could pay back is to offer himself to serve the country, come 2019.
Lamido was quoted to have said: “For now, what we are doing is internal; that is why I believe I have to start from home. I am aware a lot of people are likely to indicate interest in running on the platform of our great party. Please, we must make sure we go for the best.
“After series of consultations across the length and breadth of Nigeria, when the time comes, I will be offering myself for the presidency. I may not be the only aspirant, but please, when the time comes, only the best should be allowed to emerge on the platform of our great party, the PDP.” Lamido had, in January this year, declared that no matter the level of oppression and intimidation, if God wishes for him to be president in 2019, nobody would stop him.
He had made the declaration then after dozens of heavily armed policemen were deployed to his home country in Bamaina, to prevent hundreds of youths, who had besieged the town to call on the former governor to contest the 2019 Presidency.
Lamido had said: “Those in power today must know the same God that made Balewa, Ironsi, Gowon, Murtala, Shagari, Buhari, Babangida and Jonathan presidents can do the same for me if He so wishes.
“All the coercion and intimidation were because of my aspiration, and I must tell them that no matter what, if Allah has destined that I will be president, they cannot stop me because that will amount to fighting the will of God.
“Leaders should beware of the consequences that follow tyranny, impunity and abuse of human dignity.”
He had equally told the youths who defied police barricades to access his country home that “if your prayers for me to be president of this country is the wish of Allah, let it be, for Allah is the One that made others like Jonathan, Tafawa Balewa, Obasanjo and Buhari President.”
In the build up to the 2015 election, but for his principled stance to stand by the PDP’s decision to field former president Jonathan, some party stakeholders, including former president Olusegun Obasanjo, had preferred him as the party’s candidate, ahead of Jonathan.
For instance, former president Obasanjo had, in May 2013, two years to the 2015 polls, described Lamido as a good ‘repairer,’ saying any society desirous of change needs Lamido’s type to bring about such a change.
Apparently making reference to Jonathan’s handling of the country’s affairs at the time, Obasanjo further said while it was easy to help someone to find a job, it was impossible to help the same person to do the job, insisting that it was “utter rubbish” for anyone to say one man could not bring about change.
The former president, who said he was proud of the Lamido administration further said: “With Lamido, you know where you stand. When he says he will do, he will do. And when he says he will not do, he will not do. Let’s all pray he doesn’t say he will not do, because if he says he will not do, not even I, Obasanjo, can pressurise him. And you need a man like that.”
Last weekend, the former Jigawa governor told the current governor, Mohammadu Badaru, that no amount of intimidation from him would make the PDP lose focus towards winning the forthcoming Council poll in the state.
He had gone to Kiyawa Prison to sympathise with three former commissioners and three ex-LGA chairmen who served in his administration, who were last Thursday remanded in prison custody.
after their arraignment before a Dutse Chief Magistrate Court II.
They were charged for criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust by public servants, disobeying direction of the law with intent to cause injury to the public, theft and forgery when they held sway as public office holders.
But Lamido said: “It’s simply a ploy to intimidate, terrorise, malign and demean our supporters so they can be broken in terms of their courage to toe the line of the APC before the coming election.
“No power on earth can avert what God ordained. Those who are there now, before them there were others who were there.”
As at the time of filling this report, all the six accused persons had been released on bail.