Between Tambuwal and Gbajabiamila: Matters arising


In this piece, BODE OLAGOKE, takes a look at the Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s role in the emergence of House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, and open castigation of Femi Gbajabiamila, which some considered to be offensive.

Until the former speaker of House of Representatives and now the governor Sokoto state, Aminu Tambuwal publicly made it known in the media the reasons why he preferred the incumbent Speaker of House reps, Yakubu Dogara against the candidacy of Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, many Nigerians refused to believe the speculation earlier.

While Tambuwal justifying his decision to back Hon. Dogara as his successor against a man (Femi Gbajabiamila) which some political watchers believe to have risked all for in his four-year turbulent reign as Speaker of the same House, the treachery of a typical Nigerian politician practically came to bear.

In 2011, It is publicly knowledge that Hon. Gbajabiamila was the one person who initiated the Tambuwal project as Speaker and indeed after the Southwest had endorsed the former  member, Hon. Mulikat Adeola from Oyo state, and also impressed upon the leadership of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and particularly Asiwaju Bola Hammed Tinubu, to reverse the endorsement in favour of a Northerner, who was a member of the People Democratic Party (PDP) then.

Throughout Tambuwal’s tenure as speaker, Hon. Gbajabiamila stood by him, even to the end and pushed vigorously for him to be President.

Again, history will not forget in a hurry a popular picture that went vira of Gbajabiamila climbimg the NASS fence to save Tambuwal from being impeached towards the end of the life of the 7th Assembly.

Analysts reasoned that Tambuwal never realised how “incompetent” and “unfit” Gbajabiamila was throughout his four years as Speaker, dspite the tenacity displayed by the opposition,
through Gbajabiamila which sustained Tambuwal up until that moment that he jumped ship to become a registered member of the APC.

Not few Nigerians could have imagined what realy went wrong between Tambuwal and Gbajabiamila aside the reasons given by the former in support of his action when Dogara’s kinsmen paid him a visit.

He said: “The acknowledgement of Dogara’s competence did not start with me. It started from the time of Hon. Patricia 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”.

Interestingly, Tambuwal who is not expected to be bias was the chairman of a reconciliation committee set up by the leadership of the APC to settled the leadership crisis at the National Assembly, one would have wished he had kept quiet for many reasons.

While some reasoned that Governor Tambuwal’s outburst has also been considered as unnecessary especially at a time the House was just healing and coming together, others believed it was a veiled attack on someone who stood with him through thick and thin like the rock of gibraltar and an affront to the sensibilities of not only the South-west region but gbajabiamila’s admirers all over the world.

Reacting to the development recently, a former Member of House of Representatives and chairman, Northern Professionals (NP), Hon. Abubakar Adamu, faulted the reason given by the Sokoto state governor, on why he backed Hon. Yakubu Dogara to emerge the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Adamu said although the former Speaker has the right to chose his own democratic path, but he should desist from portraying the Northerners as Betrayers and ingrates.

In a statement issued in Abuja by the group, Adamu urged governor Tambuwal to allow the healing process in the House Representatives to complete it cycle, adding that he should also apologize to Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for his treachery.

The statement stated that: “While Tambuwal has the right to chose his own democratic path, he should desist from portraying we Northerners as Betrayers and ingrates. We do not regret our support for the party’s speakership candidate, Femi Gbajabiamila  because his competency transcends beyond managing members welfare only.

” He defended the masses throughout his minority leadership in the House and led the Opposition for 8years without blemish. Let’s even pretend Tambuwal’s explanation on Dogara’s competency over Gbajabiamila is genuine how does he justify his support for Bukola Saraki against his party’s choice, Ahmed Lawan in the Senate?

“He should go to God on bended knees and ask for forgiveness. Dogara’s leadership would continue to enjoy support of  Nigerians to the extent that the House affairs is in tandem with expectations of Nigerians not individuals.”

Adamu also urged the lawmakers to bury their hatchet for the House to resume back to the business of lawmaking, saying “Tambuwal’s confession of bias in favour of Dogara is now seen by many of us as reasons why the Tambuwal-led reconciliation committee mandated to resolve the erstwhile House crisis played on the intelligence of lawmakers and refused to invite Gbajabiamila and his supporters for the second reconciliatory meeting and ended its job without a report.

“Is it not surprising that Tambuwal referred those interested in knowing Dogara’s competence to how the Speaker handled public procurement processes while he was Chairman, House services under Patricia Etteh, Dimeji Bankole, and himself?

“It’s still fresh in our memory that abuse of procurement processes in the purchase of House utilities landed Patricia Etteh and Dimeji Bankole into trouble. To think that a former speaker would reduce the work of a critical arm of government and legislative functions and responsibilities to procurement is shocking to say the least,” he said.

For Gbajabiamila’s friends and loyalists across the six geo-political zones, a public apology from the sitting governor of Sokoto state will safe his face from treachery allegation.

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