Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Former governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, has revealed how some northern political cabals truncated the chances of the Igbo to be Nigerian president; through Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Dr. Alex Ekwueme, respectively.
He regretted that against the interest of the well-meaning northerners to hand over to the Igbo, on two different occasions, some northerners, for selfish reasons, quashed that quest.
Bafarawa disclosed this in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi State, yesterday, when he paid a courtesy call on Governor David Umahi at Government House to intimate him and other PDP stakeholders in the state, on his presidential ambition.
“I have been in politics since 1976. I was the Transition Committee chairman of my local council in 1976. I rose from that. In 1979, NPN was almost dominant in Sokoto State but I refused to join NPN. I joined NPP, together with our leader Zik. When NPN realized that NPP was a strong party and that a national party would win the election, NPN, by then, used their intrigues to divide our relationship with NPP.
“When we got to the convention, argument started. Waziri vehemently told Zik that he wanted to be the presidential candidate and also the chairman of the party. Zik said: ‘Waziri take one and leave one. If you want president, take it, if you want chairman take it. But take one and leave one. But, Waziri said he needed all because he was being pushed by the NPN to disunite us. That was what caused the division of the NPP and GNPP.
“I am trying to tell this story for you to see that in my political career, I have been one of you. I rose from that level to the state chairman of the party, NRC, where I produced a governor, under my chairmanship, in 1992, or thereabout.
“After that, resolution of June 12 crisis set in. After that, the constitutional conference started. I contested and won and became a member of the Constitutional Conference, from 1994 to 1995.
“When that was over, I was the founder of UNCP, during Abacha’s regime. After Abacha, we formed APP. I took APP to my zone; Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi, under my leadership, and delivered the three states, under APP. I haven’t been the governor of the state at that time.
“And also, in 2003, when I saw that the leadership of our party was trying to sell out to the ruling party, I took over the leadership of the party. I was the governor and, at the same time, the acting national chairman of ANPP, where I produced Buhari as our flag bearer…”
He appealed to PDP stakeholders and the people of the state to support his presidential ambition, with a promise to lead the country aright; if elected.
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Welcoming his visitor, governor Umahi wished the August visitor goodluck in his presidential ambition.