By Abimbola Ojenike
“What has Tambuwal decamped for at this time? Is the PDP now intolerably dirtier than it has always been? Is he in APC to scramble for the presidential ticket as once speculated or there to help General Muhammadu Buhari to actualize his ambition? Has Tambuwal re-assessed his political strength and decided to opt for the APC Governorship ticket in Sokoto State instead; or come back to the House of Representatives for the fourth time? If this is about Sokoto Governorship, is governorship really a low-hanging fruit for Tambuwal?”
The progressively suspicious betrothal between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Aminu Tambuwal (Speaker of the House of Representatives) has ended in the predicted marriage but with many troubles for the new bride. Tambuwal’s defection did not come as a surprise; not in the least to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who has found him too dodgy to be trusted since he thwarted the party’s favoured mandate of Mulikat Akande-Adeola to get the Speaker’s seat with the opposition party’s support.
What has Tambuwal decamped for at this time? Is the PDP now intolerably dirtier than it has always been? Is he in APC to scramble for the presidential ticket as once speculated or there to help General Muhammadu Buhari to actualize his ambition? Has Tambuwal re-assessed his political strength and decided to opt for the APC Governorship ticket in Sokoto State instead; or come back to the House of Representatives for the fourth time? If this is about Sokoto Governorship, is governorship really a low-hanging fruit for Tambuwal?
Tambuwal’s game plan in jilting the PDP few months to the General Election is not so clear but presents an unusually delicate and sensitive situation that might cost him his eminent job. His first challenge would be how to retain the reins of the House of Representatives, his position as number four citizen. Will APC muscle the strength to save Tambuwal’s job with its 159 members against PDP’s 195 members; and at least 6 other straddling stocks that may swing in any direction depending on who has the juiciest bid?
By withdrawing Tambuwal’s security aides, the Inspector-General of Police may have acted the first episode in the scripts of the PDP-controlled Federal Government to clip Tambuwal’s wings. Earlier, the PDP’s mouth-piece, Olisa Metuh had also given a hint of how the PDP would respond to the defection by asking him to do the “needful”. This could mean resignation as Speaker, as member of the House of Representatives or both if the PDP could have its way. Impeachment would be a long shot for the PDP. It would require at least 45 more members to add to its number to get an impeachment plan through. In the event that the PDP resorts to pursuing impeachment illegitimately, it would be giving Tambuwal more popularity than he already has with the civil society and that would be self-destruct for the PDP.
Tambuwal’s initial strategy in adjourning the sitting of the House till December 3, 2014 may be working for now but it is not an enduring strategy to shield Mr. Speaker from the fiery darts of the PDP in the coming scuffle to reclaim Mr. Speaker’s seat. No matter how he goes about it, he cannot buy enough time to escape battle.
Again, although Tambuwal will most probably complete his tenure, even if through fire and brimstone, it is uncertain how his biggest desires for joining the APC would be gratified. He will need Aliyu Wamakko to succeed him as Governor. If the tide changes in his relationship with Wamakko, it is doubtful that Tambuwal, on his own strength, would be able to hold his heads high in the Sokoto State politics where Wamakko and PDP’s Attahiru Bafarawa are the known leading actors.
….and beyond the politics
For the rest of us, defection has lost its sensation here. Where politics is not based on any sublime ideal that is focused on improving the lives of the people, defection is convenient. Fickle political commitment and lack of a vibrant political philosophy allow all sorts of promiscuous alliances and re-alliances.
The withdrawal of Tambuwal’s security aides is a tell-tale of a fierce constitutional crisis that could mean a total neglect of the legislative business till after election. It is unlikely that the lawmakers would have the serenity of mind to go about the legislative business while locking horns on this matter and at the same time pursuing re-election bid.
This tribe of politicians is not known for decency in dissent and Tambuwal will not be the first to be treated to such politesse which does not exist anyway. If it is crucial to the PDP strategy that the House reconvenes before the December 3, 2014 next adjourned date, the political orgy will be an interesting one to watch, for those who have the horror-movie fancy, but where is the common man in all of this political drama?
This nation is in disarray and has not made any sense at all in the true sense particularly in recent times. I guess this, in a way, is the penalty for the political illiterate who fails to see that the somewhat undemanding act of thumb-printing the ballot paper ultimately determines whether there is food on the table of the common man, whether there is peace here and whether our hopes and those of our children can come true.
Abimbola Ojenike is a prolific writer and a regular contributor in newspapers and in other local and international magazines. He writes exclusively for BREAKING TIMES every week in the column, Game of Thrones. He can be followed on Twitter at @beambini.
The opinions expressed by columnists in the published feature – Game of Thrones do not reflect the “OPINION and or “POLICY” of BREAKING TIMES as an online news media publishing establishment. Words on this page remain at all times, the literary expression of the writers’ creative imagination.