May 28, 2023

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PDP’s presidential primaries : Tambuwal ‘s gambling

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Tambuwal’s Big Gamble
  By Jasper Uche
The meteoric rise of Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal in the nation’s political firmament defies logical precision. Although it appeared unthinkable a few years back, yet the upward mobility did not come on a platter of providence. It has been propelled by courageous steps suffused with national interest.
As such, the projection of his strategic alternatives remained the guiding lamp of his coalitions and alliance-building. Thus, his quiet diplomacy and tactical finesse naturally entrust him with a competitive edge. A lawyer by training and politician by vocation, Tambuwal has stealthily grabbed the bull’s eyes, sometimes walking on a tight rope.
At the dawn of the fourth republic, he transited from a senior legislative aide to a federal parliamentarian, which was capped with the position of Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives between 2011 and 2015.
Tambuwal is not an establishment man. He believes in the dynamism of timing and making the best of opportunities.  Of course, his ideological suasion had brought him on a collision course with the powers-that-be.
When the PDP godfathers wanted to enthrone a pre-determined candidate to head the Nigeria’s lower parliament in 2011, he joined forces with other progressive elements to put spanner in the works. Despite the booby traps to truncate his quest to lead the legislature, he, along with other soldiers of conscience, were ahead of the ‘enemy’s’ timetable.
He later emerged victorious in the hot and tension-soaked contest. And throughout his tenure, the independence of the legislature as a critical livewire for democratic consolidation was not compromised.
Tambuwal epitomizes the struggle for a new Nigeria extricated from the hamstring of pocket dictators. His obsession in public service is to always align with the informed popular sentiments.
To his credit, the lower chamber of the National Assembly, for the first time, organized public hearings in all the 360 federal constituencies to get inputs from all shades of opinions for amendment of Nigeria’s constitution.
 His broad-mindedness and administrative acumen endeared him to virtually all his colleagues in the federal legislature. Tambuwal parades amiable and alluring personality.
 His interventions in national issues are driven by patriotism and social justice. He does not prattle or vent opinions for recognition, rather he speaks his mind, no matter whose ox is gored.
His legendary coup de grace has been the habit of not joining issues with an uncritical retort. Tambuwal is cool, calculative and matured. His depth of conviction on the tenets of democracy rallies people around him.
 He is neither given to psychological surrender to the pomp of power nor genuflects to the plundering power of incumbency. Against all odds, Tambuwal stood behind former Governor Wamakko when he was villified by Bamaga Tukur-led PDP in 2014. So, the recent counter-rally against Tambuwal’s defection to PDP is not unexpected.
Godfathers do not give up easily when they are threatened by the ambitions of their godsons. Otherwise, they would lose political relevance with a speed of light.
For sure, it is not Wamakko’s rented crowd that will truncate Tambuwal’s ambition. Most times, mischief and jealousy from the home front strive to pluck out a rising star from its horizon. It is also natural for household enemies to do their odd jobs but thankfully, they cannot be God. After all, Obasanjo did not win in his home state in 1999, yet he became the president.
 In the case of Goodluck Jonathan, his home state- Bayelsa has only eight LGAs, yet he received a pan-Nigerian mandate in 2011. Now that Tambuwal has returned to PDP, and is interested in the presidential race, what chances does he have?
Indeed, the stakes are very high. The implications of losing out the PDP ticket are better imagined. So, even if a section of Sokoto indigenes fail to vote for Tambuwal, his footprints in Nigeria’s democratic landscape will mobilize support from other parts of the country.
 But coming from the seat of the Caliphate and Sultan’s alleged dissatisfaction with the performance of the incumbent, Tambuwal stands a good chance.
 To dislodge the incumbent, PDP needs to field a candidate from the same North West senatorial zone. The job is cut out for Tambuwal, not necessarily by ethnic balancing, cry of marginalization or ‘shoeless’ background, but by a trajectory of defending democracy and providing leadership when it matters most.
Tambuwal is not only young, urbane, intelligent, and experienced, but also public-spirited, cosmopolitan in thinking and independently-minded. He would scarcely be ‘captured’ by a cabal or ‘government-within-government’ that usually walls off successive leaders from the realities of governance.
Tambuwal’s candidature does not have a baggage of scandals. He has not been indicted or invited by the Police, EFCC, ICPC, Code of Conduct Tribunal etc. This gives him an edge over other presidential aspirants.
A president that must command the respect of the international community and domestic solidarity should not be trailed by a litany of corruption cases. It is not yet proven or even alleged that Tambuwal corruptly enriched himself from the privileges he had in the corridors of power.
 Tambuwal is a consummate bridge-builder. A nation that is currently under-bellied by daggers of ethnic and religious centrifugal pull needs a tested consensus facilitator. President Buhari may not have looted the public treasury but his culpable indiscretions and obvious lack of understanding of intricacies of governing a complex state like Nigeria are big minuses.
Today, Tambuwal is an endangered specie because he cross-carpeted from a party he contributed to its victory less than four years ago. Be that as it may, Nigerians are more interested in impeccable records of personalities than ideologically-bereft political parties.
Why would anybody not jump ship when internal democracy is stymied by anti-democrats in a party that purports ‘change’? Why would anybody not defect when killings are going unabated and turning Nigeria to a failed state?
Why would a full-bloodied Nigerian not join the trenches to leapfrog the country from unbearable levels of poverty? Why would a sane citizen fold his arms and watch the elevation of denials and blame game as state craft? My take is that PDP should present Tambuwal to Nigerians as a credible alternative. He has the guts to clean the Augean stables.
Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email; Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.
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