There does not seem to be an end to the crisis inflicting the All Progressives Congress, APC as every statement, remark or observation for or against any of its members becomes the subject of another controversy. Just when the leadership crisis has been resolved that a new crisis is brewing following the recent statement by former Speaker and now governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, to the effect that he supported the emergence of Hon Yakubu Dogara as Speaker because of his competence and experience over his main challenger Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
The latter who has however emerged as Majority Leader following the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari in the stalemate over election of principal officers according to the Federal Character guidelines stated by Speaker Hon Yakubu Dogara, has taken Tambuwal head on. Gbajabiamila, who revived his dwindling fortune with the new position after suffering defeat in the hands of Dogara despite the backing of the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the party’s major power brokers for the keenly contested June 9 speakership feels outrage by the August 9 position taken by Tambuwal that though Gbajabiamila is closer to him than Dogara, he and seven other principal officers of the 7th House supported the aspiration of the latter because they considered him more matured and competent.
The House majority leader in his reply to Tambuwal’s revelation said the Sokoto governor has finally spoken his mind but for him, he has left all those memories behind. His said “For me I have moved on and I can only wish him the best in his future undertakings. I guess Tambuwal has finally spoken.”
Before this revelation by Tambuwal, many close political pundits of politics in the House had thought that the former speaker would be supportive of the ambition of Gbajabiamila, at least to pay him for the role he paid in his emergence as Speaker in 2007, though both were from different political parties. Tambuwal was PDP and Gbajabiamila was from the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria.
In the high stakes politics that characterized Tambuwal emergence, particularly when his own party, the PDP, had another candidate in , forcing Tambuwal to forge an alliance with the Action Congress of Nigeria members acting on instructions of their leaders who had the long term vision to capture power in 2015, which the merger party, APC, that finally became platform of both Gbajabiamila and Tambuwal, following the defection of the latter.
So this emotion, according to an analyst, could be attributed to the role Gbajabiamila played in Tambuwal’s emergence as speaker even when Dogara, who was then a member of the PDP, did not support him. In his words Tambuwal had said: “the survival of the legislature as an important arm of government made it imperative that competent hands are headhunted to be its leaders. Eight out of ten members of the Body of Principal Officers in the last Assembly supported Dogara’s aspiration.
“I have strong affinity with Hon Femi. He was closer to me than Dogara. But when talking about leadership and collective decisions, sentiments have to be put aside. I’m not here to tell you that my support made Dogara the Speaker, no. Two things made Dogara to become the Speaker; one is God and two, Dogara’s competence.”
“The acknowledgement of Dogara’s competence did not start with me. It started from the time of Hon Patricia and Etteh and Hon Dimeji Bankole when they entrusted him with a sensitive position of the Chairman of House Services Committee. “The committee is one of the most sensitive in the legislature. Apart from taking care of the welfare of members, the committee oversees all procurement processes. As the Speaker, I only did what my predecessors did by giving Dogara this sensitive position.” However in his contribution, a supporter of Gbajabiamila in the House, Aliyu Madaki said he was incredulous that Tambuwal could oppose the House leader publicly. Interestingly, Hon Dogara has not helped matters.
He recently hailed his predecessor, Governor Tambuwal for his appointment as a life member of Nigeria’s body of benchers. Dogara described Tambuwal as a man who “has written his name in gold”. The speaker made the statement while felicitating with Tambuwal on his achievement. The statement, which was issued on behalf of Dogara by Turaki Hassan reads: “As a consummate lawyer and astute parliamentarian, Tambuwal has written his name in gold in the annals of history of the legal profession and the national assembly. As former speaker, Tambuwal contributed immensely to the development of the institution of the legislature and the deepening of democracy in Nigeria”.
Dogara then implored Tambuwal to use his wealth of experience as lawmaker to improve on the legal profession as a member of the life benchers. Given an indication whether the House was headed for a smooth sailing one a member, Hon. Kehinde Odeneye APC representing Ijebu ode, Odogbolo and Ijebu North-East, Ogun State said the emergence of the house leader, Gbajabiamila, does not mark an end to the crisis in the lower chamber. The leadership crisis in the green chamber lasted 49-days, but ended when Dogara announced Gbajabiamila as the House leader recently.
In reacting to the issue, some Nigerians have bared their minds. Mr. Taiwo, said Dogara more competent than Gbajabiamila… like seriously? I sincerely doubt Tambuwal’s position on this. Gbajabiamila was easily one of the top three Reps with the knowledge, commitment and ability to argue intelligently in the last two sessions of the House before the current one. In any case, most human beings always try too hard to justify whatever we do or say, especially when it appears we have been found wanting or when we actually have been found wanting. Good luck to all Nigerians.
Musa Aliyu in his contribution poetic when said, “O you traitor, better you were not voted for as governor than you treating us this way. You made your former PDP proud In hijacking our mandate. You disregard your party. Your children will surely disregard your advice. Tit for tat. Kola Amzat said: “Sometimes, people vested with power and authority should just maintain a dignified silence. This is the time Tambuwal should refrain from opening healing wounds because; whatever he says would not change anything. And there is a silence in Sokoto State. People of like-minds, just they have senator of like-minds.
I am deeply disappointed but he should be careful there in Sokoto. This time when he gets in trouble water, he has to find his way out. For Gerald Okoduwa, “I am rather taken aback by these statements from Governor Tambuwal being a person I have always admired for his leadership skill. Yes, you have worked with the two men and you know which one is better equipped, but one would have expected you to canvass your view and push it through within your party instead of dividing the party and using rebels to install your preferred candidate.
I am sure that with your influence on other party members you would have had your way with a strong argument and the show of shame that ensued would have been avoided. A group of principal officers of the 7th House has no right to determine who should be the officers of the 8th House, more so, as most of them did not make it to the 8th House. There was an APC candidate for Sokoto State governorship contest before you came into the race but your party made you the preferred candidate after weighing the matter critically and this was done internally within the party without bringing in political opponents to install you.
Dogara election as the speaker was a heavens payback to Senator Ahmed Tinubu and Gbajabiamila’s betrayal of Akande a fellow south west candidate. Tinubu moved against her in favour of Tambawal. Tambawal turn around and moved against Tinubu. Tinubu need to ask the Yoruba’s to forgive him. Unfortunately he goes about learning nothing, as long as there is something left for him. Tribalism was the only reason for Tambawal support of Dogara. The admission of support of Dogara will live for a long time in the mind of true Yoruba. North will have themselves to blame at the end of the day.”. The coming days will clarify where the new pendulum of feelings on the issue swings.
-Francis Moses X-rays the brewing crisis in the House of Reps following Sokoto Governor Aminu Tambuwal statements on Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s emergence