Former Jigawa State governor and a presidential hopeful on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Sule Lamido, yesterday said he was battle ready for next year’ s presidential contest against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its likely candidate and incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari.
This is even as he declared that if he picks the party’s ticket all his former colleagues, like Senators Rabiu Kwankwaso, Aliyu Wamakko and several others like the incumbent Sokoto governor, Aminu Tambawal would all return to the PDP.
He spoke in Lagos yesterday in an interactive session with senior journalists and editors.
Lamido, who was also a former Foreign Affairs minister during former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s first term, said he was in Lagos to interact with members of the PDP in the state in contiuation of his interface with Nigerians.
He noted there was the strong need for all Nigerians to unite so as to restore the country’s lost values.
“I have visited all the PDP states to share my concerns and to tell them how prepared I am to serve. Now, I am going round non PDP states, beginning with Lagos. After that we felt we should interface with those of you who mould and shape opinions. That is why I am here to share my concerns and to let you know that I am prepared to serve.
“I have been harassed, intimidated and blackmailed. But I have been able to withstand all those. I cannot be conquered,” he said.
Explaining why he stayed back in the PDP ahead of 2015 elections, Lamido said “when we realised the party was drifting,seven us, all serving governors came together and went round all our former leaders to help us call the president, Goodluck Jonathan and the party to order. But the president and Bamanga Tukur will not bulge. My colleagues out of frustration, left the party. Anger and emotions took over. But for me, I chose to stay back because I cannot simply renounce my history.
“When Buhari, Tinubu, Akande and all of them came to Jigawa asking me to join them in APC, I told them i appreciated their visit, at least we were talking to each other. But I also told them that it appears we are fooling ourselves because while we are talking, our supporters are out there busy abusing each other, fighting each other
“I told them if you know we are filthy, join us and cleanse us. Nigeria is too big to be run on an adhoc arrangement basis because that is what APC is.
“How can you put Atiku, Buhari and Tinubu in one pot? It will simply not work because they don’t share anything in common. Nigeria cannot be run on emotions. You don’t run away from a problem, you stay to fight it and fix it. That is why I did not leave the PDP. Nigeria needs people who are focused and courageous as leaders. Leaders who can be courageous to say ‘bad is bad.’
“Those who left us for APC have told me they are not happy where they are. We are talking to them. If I pick the ticket, they are all coming back. I can guarantee that.”