Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto
By Emmanuel Aziken
Citing the division of the Sokoto State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal is expected this morning to decamp to the All Progressives Congress, APC. It would be the first time since the advent of the Fourth Republic in 1999 that any of the two presiding officers of the National Assembly would belong to another party apart from the PDP.
Today’s decamping will provide him the necessary party qualification to vie for the governorship ticket on the platform of the APC, which itself, is to amend its constitution tomorrow to allow Tambuwal and other last minute decampees from the PDP to vie for elective offices on the party’s platform.
Besides adopting a manifesto, the APC convention would scrap the provision in its constitution stipulating a 30-day membership duration for anyone seeking to use the party’s platform to campaign for public office.
Tambuwal, who is expected to make his first public appearance at an APC gathering at tomorrow’s national convention, would remain in office till next June.
Associates of the speaker, who disclosed the plan ahead of today’s sitting of the House of Representatives affirmed that the speaker’s announcement would not in any way affect his continued stay as speaker or a member of the House.
“He is going to announce it in plenary and he will not resign as speaker and he will not resign as member,” a close associate of the speaker privy to the development confided in Vanguard last night.
Justifying the decision of the speaker to decamp, a reliable source in the know of the plans said on the basis of confidentiality: “Every politics is local and the direction of Sokoto is towards the APC and because he is representing some people in Abuja, he has to move along with the dictates of the people and it cannot be said that the people in his constituency are in a particular party and he is in another party.”
Giving the constitutional justification, he said: “The justification is that there is a faction in Sokoto PDP and if there is no faction, Anenih would not have led a reconciliation meeting to Sokoto last week and secondly, Wamakko would not have decamped if it was a party that is in peace,” he added.
Tambuwal’s decampment to the APC is to pave way for his bid for the Sokoto State governorship. The speaker had earlier been speculated to be in the race for the 2015 presidential race but was prevailed upon to change direction towards the governorship in Sokoto, given the circumstances that were made to favour him.
Tambuwal had last week been reported to have attended a meeting of the APC in Sokoto State. That meeting, which was convened by Governor Aliyu Wamakko, was among others, held to set a direction on the succession to the outgoing governor.
The meeting, it was learnt, resolved to zone the governorship to Sokoto South, which is Tambuwal’s constituency.
“Apart from zoning it to Tambuwal’s senatorial constituency, they also agreed that the right person to succeed Wamakko should be someone known locally, nationally and internationally and that the person must have a pedigree in terms of performance, all of which were meant to favour Tambuwal,” a source privy to the development said.
Contacted on the development yesterday, Tambuwal’s spokesman, Mallam Imam Imam said Tambuwal would soon make known the outcome of his consultations on his political future.
“I wish to say that on every issue, Nigerians know where Tambuwal stands. On every issue, politics, policy Nigerians know Tambuwal, he is not a man who hides his feelings on anything,” Imam said.
“The issue of defection or no defection or his political future is not something that is different. He has said it severally that he is consulting, however, what I have to concede to you is the fact that the outcome of the consultations will be made public sooner rather than later,” Imam said last night.