Saturday 4 August 2018

The Showdown: Sokoto State Stand Still For Sen Wamako (Photos)

The stage is now set for a political showdown between Governor Aminu Tambuwal and his one-time political leader and predecessor in office, Senator Aliyu Wamakko after Tambuwal defected from the All Progressives Congress, APC to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Indeed, political analysts were divided on who now controls the state in terms of followership and clout after the defection of the state governor. Shortly after Tambuwal’s defection last Wednesday, 18 out of the 30 members of the state House of Assembly also defected with the governor. 

The reason Tambuwal gave for leaving the APC, the party he defected to over three years ago, was President Muhammadu Buhari’s neglect of his state. Tambuwal had complained that besides projects, the Federal Government had also neglected the state in terms of appointments.

However, beyond the stated reasons, it was believed there were other ‘unuttered’ reasons, which revolved around his desire for political freedom. It was alleged that even as governor, Tambuwal had been consulting Wamakko on virtually all issues of governance, including appointments. Pundits also observed that Tambuwal has not been able to ‘construct’ his own political structures independent of Wamakko’s structure upon which he rode to become governor in 2015. 

However, the ensuing showdown between both men was not totally unexpected, though it did not come in the manner that it may have been expected. For example, it was learnt that the decision to defect to the PDP had been agreed upon with some other political heavyweights in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States. Among those in the plot were two former governors from the region who are now in the Senate. 

However, it was alleged that along the way the two former governors backed out apparently believing that Tambuwal was not adequately representing their interests or for some other reasons. When Tambuwal finally made up his mind and it became obvious he would defect, he shunned all efforts to change his decision. Saturday Vanguard learnt that when six APC governors led by Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara came to condole with him over the Tabanni village attack, they also tried to persuade him but they could not change his mind. 

Meanwhile, with Tambuwal busy making consultations, Wamakko had on his part reached a separate deal with Buhari for him to probably be involved with the president’s re-election campaign. Indeed, on the night preceding Tambuwal’s defection, Wamakko was quoted on a national TV station to have said that the governor was making the biggest political mistake of his life. As it is now, the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu, Senator Ibrahim Gobir, seven members of the House of Representatives and twelve members of the state House of Assembly have not defected but are still with Wamakko in the APC.

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