The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has kicked off duties as the head of the presidential reconciliation committee of the aggrieved members of the ruling party.
After a meeting with the APC National Working Committee (NWC), Tinubu made his first stop in Sokoto state and held a closed door meeting with Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and his predecessor Senator Aliyu Wamakko.
Tinubu came out of the over 2 hour meeting and had a few words.
“Family members meet regularly to talk to each other and I’m here for that purpose. This is a family meeting for today, tomorrow, for the good of Nigeria and the APC,” he said.
The Big Picture
Tambuwal does not appear to be an aggrieved member of the APC. He is rather having a good time as all seems to be rosy within the Sokoto chapter of the party where he holds sway and was recently endorsed for a second term by the party leadership.
Tambuwal also managed to ensure in 2015 that contrary to Tinubu’s wishes, Yakubu Dogara emerged as the speaker of the House of Representatives over Tinubu’s preference for Femi Gbajabiamila. So it appears that Tinubu is the aggrieved party here.
Here are some of the reasons why Tinubu’s meeting with Tambuwal matters:
Tinubu has a score to settle with Tambuwal
Tinubu made a deal with Tambuwal to upend the PDP zoning arrangement in 2011 and delivered the office of speaker to him by galvanizing the opposition to back his candidacy. Up until 2015, Tambuwal remained Tinubu’s favourite and almost convinced the party to hand him the APC presidential candidate before he opted for then candidate Muhammadu Buhari. When it was time to return the favour, Tambuwal reneged. He went against Tinubu and the party’s official candidate, Gbajabiamila. Tinubu and Tambuwal subsequently parted ways up until the latest visit to Sokoto by the party leader.
Tambuwal is one of PDP’s most courted assets
But more than Tinubu’s previous issues with Tambuwal is the fact that the PDP is courting the Sokoto governor and has never hidden its intentions to see him return to the party on which platform he was elected to the House of Representatives.
Tambuwal has also been frequently schmoozing with PDP governors like Nyesom Wike of Rivers and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta. This is coupled with the fact that unlike several of his counterparts in the North like Nasir Elrufai of Kaduna and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Gov. Tambuwal is not a frequent visitor to the presidential villa and has not explicitly and forcefully backed Pres. Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid. These have fueled speculations of an impending defection to the PDP.
Most recently the media reported that some actors within the PDP were plotting to install him as the oppositions’s presidential candidate to run against Buhari.
Tinubu would have probably tried to extract commitments from the Sokoto Governor
Tambuwal and his predecessor, Wamakko, played major roles in the APC’s 2015 election victory. Their defection to the APC alongside several other governors and lawmakers were one of the earliest signs of a shift in momentum against the former PDP administration.
The Director General of the Buhari Presidential Campaign and current minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi acknowledged their roles in his remarks at the 15th National Council on Transportation:
“I have been to Sokoto severally, especially in 2015 during our struggle to change Nigeria. Sokoto played a very critical role in that struggle. The then governor, Aliyu Wamakko and then Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, worked together and closely with us to ensure we achieved our objective.
“The two of them moved with us to the APC; they were equally part of the new Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). I recall my conversations with Tambuwal when we moved to APC. I had told him that we had moved and he asked whether I was the only one. I told him that I moved with the governors, but he inquired if his governor, Wamakko, equally moved with us. I told him we will issue a statement concerning his governor. As God will have it, the governor himself issued a statement declaring that he was solidly in support of the movement to the APC.
“This meeting today reminds me of all that struggle and our meetings in Sokoto, especially with Wamakko and Tambuwal to strategise for the 2015 presidential election. I must thank him and other Nigerians for that support because the desired change would not have come if they did not come together to support and work for the APC to ensure the emergence of President Buhari.”