Indication has emerged that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, may have concluded arrangement to join the race for 2015 Sokoto gubernatorial election under the platform of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Speaker yesterday attended a stakeholders meeting convened for members of the APC in Sokoto state, which was held at Presidential Lodge of Government House, Sokoto, that lasted for two hours. The latter part of the meeting was held behind closed doors after Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko gave the opening remark.
Associates of the Speaker said his presence at yesterday’s meeting may herald his official defection from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
An informed source who was part of the closed session of the meeting, but spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that the Speaker was persuaded by all stakeholders in attendance to accept the party nomination form, as a ‘prize’ for his loyalty to the governor.
“The meeting was convened to welcome Mr. Speaker back to his former political fold and it is true that he had obtained APC nomination form for governorship ticket.
“In fact, he graciously accepted it and is now part of us.” another party member who attended the closed door meeting informed our correspondents.
Speaking earlier, Governor Wamakko who presided over the meeting admonished the Speaker’s loyalty, trustworthness and doggedness against all odds.
The governor told the stakeholders not to be surprised for seeing Tambuwal in their midst, adding that “he has always be part of them from onset.”
He also hinted that he was in custody of all the party nomination forms brough it from Abuja, but undecided on how to make it available to the aspirants. “All what I want is unity of purpose.” he charged.
He further explained that, though he (Tambuwal) may not have been with the party all this while, however; he had kept faith with his political roots and as well protected the interest of the state.
His words: “We sent you to Abuja to go and experience the flame of political fire; you have tested it and came out victorious. You are now with us as one family.
Wamakko added that it is time for him to begin the preparation for a new successor that could continue from where is about to stop.
He also urged the party members to be united and work hard to ensure that APC retains all elective positions in the forthcoming general elections in the state.
Tambuwal is said to have perfected plans for his gubernatorial ambition, preparatory to his decamping today at the plenary.
The Speaker’s defection has long been expected. While he has remained officially a PDP speaker, Mr. Tambuwal is believed to have long fallen out with the party. He has been absent from key party functions for a while.
A source at Monday’s meeting, according to a Premium Times, said Mr. Tambuwal told the gathering to accept him as “one of you starting from today”.
The Sokoto meeting was for APC officials to choose a consensus candidate for the state’s gubernatorial and other elections.
Asked about his possible defection, the source said if he attended the meeting “what does that tell you, will they allow someone that is not their member to attend their meeting?”
A competent source also confirmed to Peoples Daily that already, the Sokoto state chapter of the APC has set the plan in motion to receive Tambuwal in Sokoto, in a grand reception to be attended by the national and state officers of the party.
Earlier, Tambuwal was said to be among those who were into the presidential race, especially when former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), who had once encouraged the Speaker to go for higher responsibility.
Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the Speaker of Representatives, Malam Imam Imam Monday denied media reports that his principal, Aminu Tambuwal has defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, has not defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress, Imam, said in a statement on Monday.
He however confirmed that the Speaker attended a political meeting with Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko, on Monday, adding that Tambuwal’s consultation on his political future continued.
The statement came on the heels of widespread reports in the social media that the Speaker had dumped the ruling party for the APC.
Imam’s statement reads: “Due to various media inquiries about the purported defection of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Aminu Tambuwal, we wish to state the following:
“That today, Monday, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Tony Anenih, led other members of the party on a reconciliation meeting to Sokoto but the Speaker of the House of Representatives and a member of the NEC of the PDP, Rt. Hon Aminu Tambuwal CFR, was not invited to the meeting.
“That Rt. Hon Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal was later invited by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko, to attend the meeting of their political family to discuss the political future of Sokoto State.
“That the Speaker, Rt. Hon Aminu Tambuwal, duly obliged and attended the meeting.
“That consultations on the Speaker’s political future continues and the outcome will be made public at the appropriate time.”