The bashful man who once sways the Gavel as the 11th Speaker of House of Representative from 2011 to 2015 and the incumbent 16th Governor of Sokoto State from 2015 to date is one of the youngest, charismatic and most cosmopolitan politicians from the North and entire Nigeria. Sunday 10th January 2021, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal will mark a milestone: his 55th birthday. When he was resuming at National Assembly in 1999 as a Legislative Assistant to a Senator, neither him nor anyone has premonition it was the beginning of his political and leadership career.
Life has a way of making a joke of the plans that we devise for ourselves. Only in the rear-view mirror can we see how choices and chances paved way we could never have imagined. It is therefore instructive to recall that Tambuwal’s rise into prominence was not one that anyone, starting with himself would have foreseen.
Tambuwal has been on leadership since 2011 and has never gone off the track. Love or loathe him, Governor Aminu today is a factor in Nigeria’s political circle. His assets include his public presence, his coolness under pressure, his cosmopolitan nature, firm believe about the unity of the country, remarkable negotiating skills and his ability to get a yes. All those who knew and work close with him will attest to the fact that politics and leadership were woven into his DNA.
Some things that are notable was how he decamped from ANPP to DPP, DPP to ANPP and ANPP to PDP few months to 2007 general elections and won, how he emerged as the Speaker in 2011, how he decamped from PDP to APC in 2014, how he emerged as the APC flag bearer and won the seat of Governor in 2015, how he decamped from APC to PDP in 2018 and won 2019 gubernatorial election, all are testimony that he knows when, how and where to toss his hat in knotty political moments.
His greatest political ordeal was the 2019 general election which was declared inconclusive and went for a re-run where he emerged victorious with 431 votes. He is a target of few, both in the State and the federal who wanted to humiliate and cut-down his mounting political career which they consider a threat to them, though that intended assault failed spectacularly from election to Supreme Court. Upon decamping from APC to PDP in 2018; there were misgivings on all sides, in and outside the State by those who thinks he has committed political suicide for decamping from APC and waiting to be buried politically. Alas, the maestro politician proves them wrong and went ahead to win the election. His discipline and maturity, his refusal to be cowed by anyone’s bluster, have continued to energize his democratic base, political alliance and leadership credentials.
It is an irrefutable fact that the State has improved significantly in nationwide economic revival. He didn’t lag behind his contemporaries going by the giant stride he made in last five years of leadership. His intellect is formidable, his values sound, his understanding of the state’s complex needs and opportunities unmatched. In addition to his clear advantage in leadership capacity is his good heart and hard head, struggle against poverty and ignorance, which are values that good governance needs.
Sakwatawa’s are lucky and opportune to weld Tambuwal’s lofty ambitions to pragmatic politics. His is already creating a powerful State that is strengthening good governance in every sector. As a matter of practicality, accountability, philosophy and, yes, fervour for good governance, Aminu Tambuwal has not disillusioned the electorates of the State and his supporters nationwide.
Sokoto State under his leadership cut the growing power of pockets of special interests, which so often conceal their self-serving agendas behind a facade of fist-in-the-air patriotism and unfulfilling promises.
He has continued to be a great asset in opening the doors to domestic and foreign investment in the State which is helping to creates jobs, small scale industries, transfer of knowledge and technology.
There is significant impact recorded in area of agriculture, health, education, youth empowerment and infrastructural development of the State with meagre amount of resources of which, part of it is channel to debt servicing due to liability his administration inherited.
Among his signature and ongoing projects includes; Construction of 2 flyover’s to ease traffic in Sokoto metropolis, Dualization of Maituta, Ilela Motor park to Achida junction and Unguwan Rogo Roads, construction of dams to boost irrigation farming, construction of 12 police stations to aide security situation, renovation of Sokoto stadium, Social intervention Programme for youth empowerment, renovation and equipping of General Hospitals across the 23 LGA’s, remodelling and furnishing of over 200 primary and Secondary Schools.
Also, construction of 1200 seating capacity International Conference Centre (ICC) in Sokoto, establishment and ongoing construction of the State University Teaching Hospital, ongoing construction of three Girl’s Science Academy in other to boost female education, completion Murtala Specialist Hospital, attraction for the sitting of the world biggest Fertilizer Blending Company and biggest Rice Mill in Africa in Sokoto by Dangote Groups.
His administration procured and distributed over 50 Buses to State Secondary Schools, ongoing construction of 21 Numbers of 1.5 Million gallon semi-urban water supply schemes, construction and equipping of Farfaru Advance Diagnostic Centre (FADC), establishment of State Health Insurance Scheme (SHIS), passing of Fiscal Responsibility and Tax Law, implementation of N30,000 minimum wage, payment of scholarship to domestic and foreign students among other feats.
Wherever you meet him, you glimpse in him a charismatic leader that is at ease, accessible and listening. Mutawallen Sokoto seems always to have been a creature of expectations, his own and those that others have conferred upon him.
I believe he can go beyond a Governor by aspiring for the nation’s top job as one of the high flying and significant politician who has generated a high magnitude of attention and spotted commentaries in Nigeria that should be hearten, prop up and endorse to vie for Presidency in 2023. Happy Birthday Mutawallen Daular Usmaniya!