* The IBB, Jonathan Connection
Barely six months to the presidential primaries of political parties in the country and barring last-minute change of plan, major opposition party – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – will field a former minister of special duties, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (SAN), as its presidential candidate in the 2019 presidential election.
DailyWitness reports that the presidential election is slated for Saturday, February 16, 2019 according to the timeline released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking re-election based on his acclaimed integrity and what the government has listed as his achievements in office since 2015.
Turaki’s choice is apparently a result of a painstaking search against the backdrop of the current integrity crisis facing major gladiators in the PDP.
DailyWitness‘ findings have revealed that party leaders and critical stakeholders are already buying into what now being referred to as “Turaki option” in the PDP circle.
Highly-placed sources, who are privy to the development, also confided in DailyWitness that former President Goodluck Jonathan had finally taken a stand on his choice of Turaki from among a handful of PDP stalwarts jostling for the party’s ticket for the 2019 presidential poll, following which the presidential hopeful has already put in place a campaign machinery for the actualization of his victory.
“I can authoritavely confirm that a campaign structure for ex-President Jonathan’s former Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, SAN has already been set up with an operational office located at No. 40 Jimmy Carter Street in the highbrow Asokoro District of Abuja,” one of the sources confirmed.
DailyWitness further learnt that a former governor of Adamawa State, Mr. Boni Haruna, is the Director-General of the Kabiru Turaki Presidential Campaign Organization.
It is also being speculated that the aspiration of Turaki enjoys the blessing of former Nigeria’s Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), who is believed to be represented on the campaign team by his Chief of Staff and former Military Administrator of Niger State, Col. Habibu Shuaibu (rtd).
Shuaibu is the Deputy Director-General (North) of the Campaign Organisation while a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Steven Oruh, a Goodluck Jonathan ally is the Deputy-Director General (South), and a former Executive Director (News) at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mr. Shola Atere, is designated as the campaign’s spokesman.
The choice of leaders of the campaign organization, as DailyWitness gathered was informed by the need to have characters with unblemished record of public service to run the campaign since integrity and clean record of service would play major roles in who wins the nation’s most coveted political office.
Before now, prominent names of aspirants include a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; a former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido; outgoing governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; immediate past chairman of the PDP National Caretaker Committee and former governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi; and a former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, among others.
Meanwhile, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis carried out by the Kabiru Tanimu Turaki Campaign Organization seen by our reporter is reproduced below for our readers:
Kabiru Tanimu Turaki has integrity, good track record as his assets. He is not linked with any corruption case. He is well educated (He is a lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria).
He is not as popular as Buhari or former Vice President Atiku Abubakar but the feedback he has received from consultations with a wide range of stakeholders are positive.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s dismal performance and the fact that all other aspirants from the PDP have one corruption case or the other to answer present an opportunity for Kabiru Tanimu Turaki to position himself as the new face of hope for Nigeria.
The EFCC may be used against him by the time Presidency realizes that he is the man to beat.