.Jonathan’s think tank committee lobbies richest man in Africa
.Has financial war chest to match any APC candidate’
.’He’s not interested in politics, PDP should look elsewhere’
Ahead of the 2019 general election, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has started making overtures to billionaire business man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, to come and contest for the presidential election on its platform.
Already, the opposition PDP has zoned the presidency slot for the 2019 election to the Northern part of the country, while the National Chairmanship slot of the party has been earmarked for the Southern part.
An impeccable insider source exclusively told The Daily Times in Abuja that the party, in a determined efforts to win the 2019 election, has already sent emissary to the billionaire businessman from Kano, who is reputed as the wealthiest businessman in Africa.
It was learnt that the decision to reach out to Dangote with a view to wooing him to come and contest for the presidential election on the platform of the PDP, was part of the decisions reached by members of a think tank committee put together by the immediate past President of the country, Dr. Jonathan Goodluck.
The opposition PDP, which recently came out of its leadership crisis following the ruling of the Supreme Court that recognised Senator Ahmed Makarfi as its National Chairman, was said to have taken a lot of things into consideration before the decision to go and woo Alhaji Dangote for the 2019 mission.
The source said: “I can confidently tell you that the PDP has made overtures to Alhaji Aliko Dangote to come and fly the presidential flag of our party for the 2019 presidential election.
“So many things were taken into consideration before the party arrived at this decision. Alhaji Dangote has the clout, the pedigree, the name, the followership and above all the financial war chest to match any presidential candidate that the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) or any other party may be bringing forward in 2019”.
It was further gathered that Dangote allegedly spent personal money running into about N37 billion in 2015 to help in realising the presidential ambition of President Muhammadu Bihari, before and after he (Buhari) emerged at the presidential candidate of the APC then.
It is still not clear if Buhari will be seeking a second term in office come 2019.
Further findings showed that Alhaji Dangote had equally made a lot on financial contributions to the emergence of other past presidents in the country.
Another source within the party who spoke to The Daily Times said: “If Dangote can make financial contributions to ensure the emergence of other past Presidents in the country in the past, don’t you think he will be willing and ready to spend any amount to realise his own presidential ambition if he accepts the overture from the PDP?
“This is one of the reasons why the PDP made the overtures to him (Dangote) and we sincerely hope and pray that he accepts it. If he does, the journey to the Aso Rock presidential villa for the PDP in 2019 would have been made less stressful and less thorny”, the source added.
One of the reasons adduced by some political pundits for the loss by the PDP of the presidential election to the APC in 2015 was the failure of the former to pick its candidate from the Northern part of the country.
Some other prominent politicians being linked with moves to return to the PDP to contest its presidential primaries
with the intention to get the party ticket are former Vice President and chieftain of APC, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and erstwhile Governor of Kano State and serving Senator, Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
A member of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee (NCC) of the PDP, who spoke on the condition of anonymity on the issue, told our correspondent that it is too early to make any comment on the issue for now.
When contacted, a source close to Dangote disclosed that his principal is not interested in politics, saying that the PDP should look elsewhere for its candidate.
The source, who sought anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter, insisted that the stance of the business mogul not to dabble into politics has not changed, saying that any attempt by any political party to woo him for 2019 presidency is a distraction.
He said: “The attempt to woo him will fail because Dangote is not interested in politics. He is a businessman to the core and what you just asked me to react to is a distraction.
“The PDP should go and look elsewhere for its candidate for 2019 as Dangote is committed to his core vision and desire to invest and create jobs to the people”.
Lateef Ibrahim Abuja