Gov. Aminu Tambuwal

By Otor Drama

ALHAJI Sir Ahmadu Bello’s greatest ambition as a child was to be the Sultan

of Sokoto. As a prince, he carried himself with royal airs and comported

himself with decorum. His long awaited opportunity came in 1938 but he lost

the race to a contender who emerged as Sultan Siddiq Abubakar.

Having lost the race, he turned his talents into leadership and became a

rallying force for the north when he was made the leader of the Northern

Peoples Congress (NPC) and later Premier of the Northern Region which was

the senior partner in the coalition government that was formed at

independence producing the Prime Minister, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa

Balewa as well as holding some other key positions in the First Republic

government.

Since Bello’s brutal assassination in 1966, no politician from Sokoto State

has emerged with his national political stature and structures across the

country. However, Sokoto State Governor and former Speaker of the House of

Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal seems to be a worthy successor to the late

Sardauna of Sokoto.

Tambuwal who trained as a lawyer began his political career as a

legislative aide to Senator Abdullahi Wali who was the Senate Leader at the

time – 1999 to 2003. Having learnt the ropes of politics, he plunged into

the murky electoral waters by contesting for a seat in the Federal House of

Representatives and won in 2003 where he represented Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal

Constituency in the lower house of the National Assembly. He served in the

house as the minority leader and later as deputy chief whip. He served

meritoriously in various committees like rules & business, judiciary,

communications, inter-parliamentary and water resources. He was a member of

the House Ad Hoc Committee on the Constitution Review.

He was chairman of the ad hoc committee that reviewed the report of the

controversial power probe committee headed by Ndudi Elumelu; Chairman,

House Sub-Committee on the Bill for an Act to Amend the Land Use Act, and

acting Chairman, House Committee on Power.

He was leader of the Nigerian delegation to African, Caribbean, Pacific &

European Union Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU) and served as Vice-Chairman,

Economic Committee ACP-EU, held in Prague, Czech Republic in April 2009.

As the Governor of Sokoto State, he has done his best to transform the

state from a civil service state and an agrarian economy into a modernized

economy and has greatly diversified its internally generated revenue base.

He has ensured that security is guaranteed there in view of the incessant

attacks by bandits in neighbouring northern states.

He is a nationalist and judiciously used his time in the House of Reps to

build sturdy political bridges across the country. He is at home with the

various ethnic groups that make up the nation and is not known to be an

ethnic jingoist. He abhors tribalism with every fibre in him.

Despite being in politics for over two decades, he has been untainted and

no allegation of corruption has been leveled against him by the Economic

and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Corruption is a major albatross of

most Nigerian politicians and so a corrupt free politician should be

greatly encouraged as it is a rarity. He threw his hat into the

presidential race in 2019 when he contested the presidential primaries of

the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and came second behind Alhaji

Atiku Abubakar.

There is the need to build national cohesion so that tribalism can be a

thing of the past. After the Civil War ended in the United States in 1864,

all the Presidents who emerged were from the victorious north and the

Heavens didn’t fall since Americans think of their country first before

their states. It wasn’t until Jimmy Carter emerged in 1976 that power

shifted to the south but even at that it was as a result of his competence

and not any overt power shift agitation.

What Nigerians need in this extremely challenging time in the ‘Giant of

Africa’ is a leader who is visionary and can provide uncommon leadership to

deal with the plethora of challenges ranging from massive youth

unemployment, poverty, insecurity, child mortality etc. We should stop

short changing ourselves with the asinine power shift ideology as it

promotes mediocrity as well as an entitlement mentality. What should bother

right thinking and public spirited Nigerians should be who can effectively

deliver the dividends of democracy to the avalanche of long suffering

Nigerians who have borne the brunt of bad governance and civilian misrule.

The ethnicity of such a person shouldn’t matter.

Tambuwal is well suited to take Nigeria to the Promised Land if only

Nigerians can shun tribalism and give him the opportunity to provide

uncommon leadership to them. On the highly contentious issue of

restructuring, he is an avowed federalist and will do his best to ensure

that power is devolved to the states which will make the centre – Abuja

less attractive and will go a long way to reduce the ethnic tensions in the

country which has greatly polarized the country at the nation’s detriment.

We recall the hundred days war between the majority Hutus and the minority

Tutsis in Rwanda which was fanned by sinister propagandist politicians who

stoked the fires of ethnic hate leading to the mindless murder of over a

hundred thousand people.

As a way of national healing, the nation under the pragmatic leadership of

Paul Kagame abolished the filling of tribes in public forms. The country

once wracked by war is now in the forefront of scientific and technological

breakthroughs and development. Their healthcare sector is one of the best

in the continent; their technological space is booming with investors from

all over the world pouring millions of dollars into that sector. Fintechs,

ed techs and the use of drones are springing up with alarming alacrity all

over the country and their GDP is the better for it. Does it matter that

Kagame, a Tutsi has been in power for close to two decades?

The case of Rwanda which has emerged from the ashes like a Phoenix should

serve as a lesson for all Nigerians that national interest should supersede

ethnic bias and the current man of the moment is Tambuwal.

All Nigerians irrespective of ethnic affiliation and religion should join

hands in unison to ensure that he succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari as he

has the magic wand to effectively steer the nation’s ship which has drifted

for far too long.

Otor, a public affairs analyst contributed this piece from Abuja via:

lucyianoo@gmail.com.

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