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2015 elections: Tambuwal as game changer

THE Right Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, incumbent Speaker of Nigerian’s House of Representative, has undoubtedly established himself as a master of masters in the game of politics, albeit the Nigeria’s muddy waters of politics.

The truth of the matter as evidenced, so far, by the way he emerged as Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2011 and the master stroke presentation of decamping from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives, APC, shall remain a good case study of political manoeuvring. Even the late great Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe would have paid tribute to this young man on his political sagacity.

Take a brief look on how he presented his crossing from the PDP to the APC to his colleagues on Wednesday October 29, 2014, before he brought the gavel down while adjourning the House “till December 3, 2014”. Can you beat that? It was a master stroke of a great strategist. He got the ruling Party [PDP], the government of the day, ditto Nigerians where he wanted them. The presentation, the way it came, left no room of harming his political interest: constitutionally, politically or legally with anybody. This is the Exodus but let us go to the Genesis for a moment.

It was Monday, June 6, 2011. The newly inaugurated lower House of the National Assembly met to elect its own officers. The election was faith accompli, so it looked as members came with a road map of the ruling party on who to be elected to which office.

The position of the Speaker for the House of Representatives had been zoned to the South West of the country and the person expected to take the chair was the favoured Alhaja Mulikat Akande-Adeola from Osun State. This was the clear directive of the ruling, largest party in Africa. But on the floor of the House that morning, another arrangement was put in place by an “obscure group of dissidents”. The PDP even sent some of its “intimidating” national officers to the floor of the House to ensure that the “status quo ante instruction” of the Party was carried out.

At the end of the election on the floor of the House, an “unknown” Tambuwal from Sokoto State had beaten the favoured Mulikat from Osun State, to become the Speaker with a deafening “sky and moon slides” votes.

The Nigerian House of Representatives had spoken! That became the “death” of the ruling party’ supremacy in the House of Representatives. This happened despite the fact that the PDP had the overwhelming majority in the House at that time. That act signalled the birth of an independent House of Representatives. And the characteristic of that change was Honourable Aminu Tambuwal! That was in 2011.

Here again, on Wednesday, 0ctober 29, 2014, the same man – Tambuwal, created new rules for the game; a master rule that will see him remaining the Speaker of the House of Representatives till the end of this 7th Assembly, by the grace of superior political display. There is something politically thick in this young man that all young politicians can learn from. Yes, l shall make him my case study for the next few years by the grace of God. The appropriate question, therefore, is what are some of the changes that Tambuwal has brought to the political game between now and 2015?

One, if any institution, ditto the National Assembly, is allowed a free hand of operating its own rules and regulations without outside interference, fact remains that such institution will perform better to the benefit of the larger society, the populace and the citizenry. Contrast the matured leadership and performances of this 7th House of Representatives to the previous ones to understand my presentation. I am not saying that this very 7th House of Representatives has reached the “promised land” but surely it is “closer to Mecca than Medina”.

Two, there is no power in this land of Nigeria that can remove Tambuwal as Speaker of the House between now and when the House tenure shall expire next year. Yes, not even deploying any reckless exercise of Executive powers can remove him; the Judiciary cannot do it or the House members under whatever type of inducement, would want to pull down the concrete house they unanimously and maturely built. It is Tambuwal “for life” in this Assembly session!

Three, if he goes on to contest the governorship of his home state of Sokoto, it is obvious that PDP shall lose that state to APC because there is no enough force-joining between Bafarawa/Shagari that can dislodge Wamako/Tambuwal. This is a concluded historical fact.

Four, until this 7th National Assembly mostly at the lower House, ends officially, it is for PDP to tread gently on what it can push through the House of Representatives. This is a naked truth for obvious reason: this man called Tambuwal enjoys the confidence of his colleagues because they elected him in the first place. And fact is that he has avoided any banana peel while leading them so far. He has led with respect, decorum and maturity, the same way David Mark has led the Senate with respect of maturity, honour and decorum.

Both Principal Officers of the two Houses presently, shall lead their members to “Jerusalem” unhindered, on this trip. No Jupiter can stop them.

What more can l say about this game changing man? He shall remain a cherished catalyst that deepened the refining methodology of democracy in Nigerian. He shall remain, in the annals of Nigerian history, a man who changed the political game positively at a time when there was scarcity of such people in Nigeria. His shall remain a historically vindicated Voyage of discovery!

Mr. Godwin Etakibuebu, a commentator on current affairs,  wrote from Lagos.


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