The emergence of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as Speaker of the House Representatives in June 2011 took many PDP chieftains and supporters by surprise especially the presidency. There were several plots to stop him from contesting but in the end he outsmarted the PDP executive, the presidency and even former president Obasanjo who wanted Hon. Mulikat to emerge. Ever since he became the speaker, neither the PDP nor the presidency has rested to see him vacate the seat he has been destined to occupy.
The events that transpired between June 2011 and now are events that could reshape the history of the cat and dog relationship between the legislature and the executive beginning from 1960. In the last three years, political observers know that the relationship between the senate and the presidency is as cordial as anything peaceful while the House of Representatives has been engaging into battles with the PDP and the presidency by extension. On several occasions the speaker has been absent at some critical party meetings and just recently while the Tony Aninih-led PDP reconciliation committee visited Sokoto for fence mending, it was shocking that the speaker was absent at the PDP meeting but surprisingly surfaced at the stake holders meeting of the All Progressive Congress (APC) with Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko.
However, to those who know the feud between Tambuwal and the PDP on one hand and Tambuwal and the Presidency on the other, his appearance at the APC meeting in Sokoto on October 20, 2014 did not come as a big surprise, it was something long overdue. What is surprising to most political observers was however, how he was introduced as a long standing APC supporter and admirer and most importantly, as a founding member of its formation. In fact, Tambuwal’s appearance at the October 20, APC meeting in Sokoto has put to rest speculations that he would vie for the presidential race and also opened a new chapter of speculation about his interest to succeed Governor Wamakko on May 29, 2015 at Lodge Road.
There are strong evidences that Tambuwal is warming up to take over from Wamakko as the next governor and there are also instances to speculate that Wamakko has been grooming Tambuwal for the Lodge Road job since 2012 when he read a citation on him at the state polytechnic where five illustrious sons of the state were given merit awards. The citation on Tambuwal on November 18, 2012 was more of a political speech preparing the Speaker for the 2015 gubernatorial election rather than an ordinary speech for Merit Award.
According to Wamakko, “the RT Hon. Speaker House of Representatives Alhaji AminuWaziri Tambuwal, CFR one of today’s recipient requires no introduction neither here at home or beyond the shores of our borders. As an illustrious son of the Caliphate he has taken up the challenge of national leadership foisted on him by his esteemed colleagues who rallied round and almost unanimously elected him Hon. Speaker of the Lower House over a year ago”. As the governor pointed out, Tambuwal does not require introduction in Nigerian politics considering how he emerged Speaker in spite of strong opposition from within his own party PDP and the Presidency. He is one politician that any observer could describe as a “popular choice “because his election has proved that a good candidate can stand as an independent candidate without party structure and win. Wamakko went further to describe Tambuwal as a progressive and a man of the people. According to him “it is note-worthy that Hon. Aminu Waziri won the broad-based acceptance of the members of the House in popular recognition of a combination of positive personal traits and rich pedigree in professional and other admirable antecedents which are unmistakable in any interaction with him. He is respectable,people-oriented, progressive, straight-forward , tolerant and an adapt team player, he is a legal luminary, unassuming, accessible and highly principled. Above all, ladies and gentlemen, Hon. Aminu Waziriis a true son of the Seat of Caliphate which more than anything else endowed him with the fear of God, the spiritual inclination and culture of discipline and humility that combined to hold him for praise-worthy service to his community and the nation at large. I must say, without equivocation that we are deeply proud of this young and charming public officer particularly, for being a worthy ambassador of the culture and traditions that define the significance of the enduring legacies of the seat of the caliphate in the evolution of the nation. We are also proud that through him, the sterling human and leadership qualities nurtured by his unique upbringing has once again proven to be not just relevant but indeed indispensable to the much desired peace, unity progress and development of Nigeria”.
As a political observer, that powerful citation appeared to me two years as the declaration for the governorship seat which Tambuwal is warming up to sit on come May 20, 2015. However, the part that interested me most was when Wamakko summed up his citation on the Speaker this way “Hon. Aminu Waziriis indeed eminently qualified for Sokoto state government Merit Award most especially for earning the support and confidence of the diverse replica of Nigerians elected as Hon. Representatives of their people into the lower house as their Speaker and leader. On our part we have quite willingly encouraged him with prayers, and will continue to bear the brunt of virtually surrendering such a jewel to the more onerous demands of national service in the knowledge that benefits are for all Nigerians bound together in freedom, peace and unity”. The question here is could there be a better political endorsement than what Wamakko put across on November 18, 2012? For those who saw October 20, 2014 as a day of endorsement, it was an extension of what took place on November 18, 2012.
Aminu Mohammed wrote in from Abuja.