2015: Tambuwal begins consultations with Obasanjo

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By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor & Daud Olatunji
Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal was, yesterday, locked in a meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta in a 30 minute encounter that flagged off his nationwide consultations on prospecting his candidacy in the 2015 presidential election.

The meeting, meanwhile, stirred concern about a possible pull-out of the number four man from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Tambuwal and the former president, according to sources, met alone and the meeting was already over before newsmen heard of it.

Tambuwal was accompanied by a member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Sulieman Kawu and his Special Adviser (Media), Imam Imam and Hon. Yemi Arokudare.

L-R: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Hon Kawu Sumaila during the Speaker's visit to Obasanjo today in Abeokuta.

L-R: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, former President Olusegun Obasanjo  during the Speaker’s visit to Obasanjo today in Abeokuta.

Imam told Vanguard last night that the meeting was essentially meant to rub minds with the former President who the Speaker valued as an elder statesman.

“It was a meeting to rub minds with Baba, being that the former President is a father figure to all Nigerians and an elder statesman,” Imam said, yesterday.

“The same way that we do meet with other stakeholders, the Speaker went to confer with Baba and rub minds together.”

Tambuwal came in a convoy of five cars around 5.00p.m.

Tambuwal’s consultation with President Obasanjo had come against the background of increasing speculations on the political future of the presiding officer of the House of Representatives.

A source in the House of Representatives and a confidant of the speaker who was involved in the logistics of the meeting confirmed yesterday that the meeting was the begining of the nationwide consultations by the Speaker to explore the possibility of contesting the 2015 presidential election.

Tambuwal became Speaker of the House despite objections by President Obasanjo, who protested that he, (Tambuwal) collaborated with elements in the former Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, to deprive the Southwest geo-political zone of the office that was initially ceded to it under the zoning configuration of the PDP.

Since his emergence as Speaker, Tambuwal had repeatedly drawn attention by maintaining an independent stance and had often publicly hit at the under-belly of the administration.

Speaker Tambuwal had repeatedly drawn attention to issues of corruption and lack of will by the administration in dealing with some of the issues that had confronted the country in the last few years.

Should he decide to contest, the Speaker would be expected to vie on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

He is known to be in the goodwill of a number of senior APC chieftains, including the national leaders, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

Tambuwal, who had been in the saddle as Speaker in the last three years, was the first presiding officer of the House to have gone through that period of time in office without a major crisis in the leadership.

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