The Rivers State Government has denied reports that the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), because the Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, had promised him a presidential ticket.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Monday, the State Commissioner of Information and Communications, Emma Okah, said the comments were false and rather unfair to the governor.
He also stated that, “Governor Wike has not discussed the political ambition of Governor Tambuwal with Senator Tinubu anyway and so Senator Tinubu cannot rely on mere rumours to speak unfairly about the Governor in the way he did”.
Okah added that Tambuwal is a mature adult who has the capacity to take critical political decisions for himself without any prompting from Governor Wike.
“When as Speaker of House of Representatives, Governor Tambuwal defected from the ruling PDP to the APC, why did Senator Tinubu not say that Gov Wike had a hand in it at that time or is it because it favoured Senator Tinubu’s APC?, Okah questioned.
He, therefore, urged elders to be careful of their utterances at times like these.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State says he has what it takes to contest against President Muhammadu Buhari for the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in next year’s presidential election.
The governor said this in a series of tweets on Monday, one day after the APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, accused him of defecting to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because he wanted the Presidency.
He said, “If I wanted to and if the Presidency is what Ahmed Tinubu thinks I defected, I could contest with President Buhari under the APC. I have what it takes to have contested with Mr President.
“I adduced reasons of my defection to the PDP. The reasons are still on record. Automatic ticket by the APC is certainly not part of that.”
Governor Tambuwal also faulted the claim by the APC chieftain that he left the ruling party because it could not give him the automatic ticket he demanded.
On the contrary, he alleged that Tinubu has shown by making such accusations that the APC lacked a level-playing ground for its members.
Tambuwal said, “In any case, Tinubu is confessing that there is no level-playing ground for all members of the APC; that there is no internal democracy in it, and that some people were denied their right to internal democracy”.
“Tinubu tried to rock the boat when he was denied Buhari’s Vice Presidency. He thinks every other person could behave his way. If I wanted to contest under the APC as president, I could have done so and only the votes could have produced a winner,” he insisted.
In a statement on Sunday entitled “They Go Away Because We Go the Right Way”, Mr Tinubu alleged that Governor Tambuwal and Senate President Bukola Saraki left the ruling party because the APC refused to give them automatic tickets for the 2019 elections.
“If I wanted to and if the Presidency is what Ahmed Tinubu thinks I defected, I could contest with President Buhari under the APC. I have what it takes to have contested with Mr. President. pic.twitter.com/x5shnwLFqq
“In any case, Tinubu is confessing that there is no level-playing ground for all members of the APC; that there is no internal democracy in it and that some people were denied their right to internal democracy”.
“Tinubu tried to rock the boat when he was denied Buhari’s vice Presidency. He thinks every other person could behave his way. If I wanted to contest under the APC as president, I could have done so and only the votes could have produced a winner”.
The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has reacted to the defection of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State from the party to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement entitled “They Go Away Because We Go the Right Way” and personally signed by him on Sunday, Tinubu said the Senate President and the Governor left the ruling party because the APC refused to give them automatic tickets for the 2019 elections.
The defections of some people from the APC have generated sensational headlines and exaggerated talk as to what their departures foretell for the APC, the party to which I belong. Some have predicted the demise of the APC. Those who hope for our decline will be disappointed by the inaccuracy of their desires. The days, months and years ahead will bury such errant forecasts for these predictions are born more of bitterness than of objective analysis.
Much of the attention has centred on which party now controls this or that state and which party maintains a majority in the National Assembly. These considerations are important to members of the political class and the electoral calculations of the political parties. But these calculations cannot be all there is. We must be careful not to reduce our horizon to a mere accounting of elected officials moving from one party to another.
Many in the political class believe this score keeping between the parties encompasses all that is important. For such people, the mere holding of office is the sole objective. The quality of governance they provide means little to them. Yet, there are greater things at stake than the fortunes of individual politicians. The people of Nigeria focus their attention on something materially different than this narrow political game.
The people are more deeply concerned with the quality of governance they experience than with the intense cunning by which the political game is played. They are more interested in helpful policies than in the tempests created by politicians in pursuit of personal ambitions. That which provides a better life in a more prosperous nation is what beckons to them. That which shines in the eye of the political opportunist is dross to the average person.
We must pull back from the shallow headlines to recognise that something fundamental is at stake.
Nigeria is undergoing a historic transition. Sometimes awkwardly, tentatively, yet inexorably, we nurture political and governance reform. We steadily close the door on the old malpractices that have caused a rich nation to reside in the tenement of the global poor.
The corruption of the past is ending; for it must end if we are to fulfil our collective purpose. With this correction, less public money will be diverted to private benefit. More will be afforded to the causes of the people. The economy is being transformed so that the average person will have a better chance of finding a better life.
“We move toward a more democratic union. The old days where a handful of uninformed men and those with deep pockets decided everything for everybody are being swept away. The will of the people can no longer be ignored. Those who would be the masters over the people must now be public servants. A party or elected official may no longer rule over the people. They must govern for the benefit of the people.
By so doing, the arc of our national progress is shaped. Not everyone is happy with this trajectory. As a whole, the political class must relinquish some of its power and wealth so people can enjoy a more equitable portion of the national enterprise.
This is the correct and perhaps inevitable course Nigeria must pursue. To their credit, many politicians see the need for reform and even champion it. Yet, there are those in the political class who scheme against collective improvement. They seek to halt progress toward a fairer nation. They seek to hold to the old ways. The difference between the two parties and why some people returned to their PDP conclave must be seen in this light.
This is more than competition over numbers. What rests in the balance is not whether one party has more elected officials on its roster, but which party has the right mindset and policies to reform Nigeria that she may become what goodness demands of her.
We are in locked battle to define the future of this nation and the quality of its governance. This battle pits one party, the APC, with all of its imperfections, that seeks national reforms against another party, the PDP, which symbolises the perfection of the most selfish designs of the most selfish politicians among us.
This moral battle informed the recent defections. Those who belong to that PDP mode of thought could find no permanent comfort in walking the path of progressive reform and progress. All the things we have inaugurated such as school-feeding programs for poor pupils, social security for poor families, affordable housing programs, greater access to credit for small businesses and greater access to education and health care, these things the defectors could not well abide. They detested President Buhari’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) innovation because it barred them from misdirecting funds into a maze of unaudited accounts from which they could siphon as they pleased. Buhari cut off their clandestine illicit spigot.
“These politicians see accountable good governance and lifting of the common person as the tearing down of their quest for great riches and power.
Even more so, they detested the APC drive toward greater internal democracy. They bristled when we demanded that congresses and conventions be held; they had demanded giving themselves automatic extension in their positions. They privately erupted as the APC decided that direct primaries where all party members vote on the party’s nominations should be the way of the future.
The injection of greater democracy meant a decrease in their ability to manipulate end results. Politics will be ushered out of the backroom and given to the people to whom sovereignty genuinely belongs. These men could not countenance such transformation.
They saw it not as the gift of democracy but as an obstacle that complicated their self-interest. They left the party to return to a motley agglomeration that would promise them what true democracy could not: automatic tickets, sharing of the national wealth and other offices and privileges.
“Their defection statements swell with high-sounding words and the attempted grasp of lofty ideals. While I shall refrain from being so coarse as to call these statements counterfeit, I must invoke a sufficient level of common sense for the protection of all. Anyone who accepts their statements at face value will quickly experience buyer’s remorse. Their attempt at fine notions aside, what compelled these people was galloping yet blind ambition.
Governor Tambuwal’s exit can be distilled to one cause. He covets the presidency. However, he had not the stomach to challenge President Buhari in a primary. Tambuwal felt further insulted that he would be compelled to face a direct primary just to retain the governorship nomination.
But for the promise made by PDP headliners like Rivers State Governor Wike that he would have the PDP presidential nomination, Tambuwal would not have left. His exit had nothing to do with governance of the nation. It was about forging a personal ambition predicated on the defeat of progressive reform not the advancement of it.
“Much the same for Senate President Saraki. Returning to the PDP, he harbours dreams of the presidency but Tambuwal’s ambition will dwarf Saraki’s when the two collide. If Saraki had remained in the APC, he would be unable to reclaim his Senate seat let alone the Senate Presidency. He thus bolted because he lusts for the presidency but was promised by the PDP, at least, a return to his position in the Senate.
For Saraki to talk about lack of governance is for him to deny who he is and the position he holds. This man stands as Nigeria’s Number 3 citizen. Clothed is he in ample power and influence. If he saw areas where government and the nation needed help, he could have easily applied his energies to these areas. He could have drafted legislation and easily got laws passed.
However, no progressive enactment bears his name for he cared not for progress. He has been more focused on changing the rules of the Senate to favour himself and changing the order of elections so as to coincide with his selfish designs.
The rest of the defectors were given similar assurances by the PDP as to their offices. The APC refused to make such bargains as they are part of the ancient regime; these bargains are not of our democratic new way.
There is nothing wrong with ambition. Without a degree of ambition, we would never strive to improve and develop ourselves. But ambition, restrained by nothing but itself, is a dangerous commodity. Unwedded to social conscience, it leads to ruthlessness; it is the father of the deception that leaders are meant to lord over instead of to serve the populace.
In the final analysis, the reason for the defections is as clear to see as it is crooked in its motives. The APC seeks to reform governance and politics. However, many powerful people believe the established system assures their maximum benefit. Progressive reform would defeat them. They must fight reform and never be allied to it. Thus, they had to leave the APC.
In a fundamental way, the APC may be better for their exit. It would be untrue to say their departures did not generate concern. As the air clears and we can better assess what is lost and gained by their exit, I can truthfully say the APC will be better off because they are gone.
We can now focus more wholly on democratic governance inside and outside the party. Inside the party, we have adopted direct primaries to discourage corruption of the democratic process. Regarding public policy, we can now better articulate our progressive stance without having naysayers among complaining that we are going too far or that the good we seek for the people ought not to be done.
We can more decisively push for the jobs program, expansion of social security for the poor, affordable housing programs and a viable mortgage system, national infrastructural program that will provide adequate power and potable water, basic health care for all, and educational reform. Each of these is important in itself.
In combination, these objectives shall reshape the very landscape of our political economy. They shall bring fairness and prosperity where none has been. They will give the average person a government that serves them and the land that they deserve.
But this prospect means a large segment of the political class will oppose the APC. We, as a party, must have the courage to accept this reality. Having decided to place the public welfare above the private welfare of the few, we must forge ahead no matter the foes aligned against us.
This struggle toward a better Nigeria is hard, described more by difficult obstacles than by smooth passages. Had reform been easy, the task would have already been accomplished. Powerful hands have gathered to halt our collective move forward. Not everyone wants a better Nigeria for all. Those who profit from the imbalances of the past are those who fear a fairer tomorrow.
Come the general election, the people will face a stark choice. If they want to relive the certain failure and inequality of the system the PDP had erected against their very interests, the people will walk the way of the defectors. If the people want to give themselves a better chance at an excellent nation they will adhere to the path elected in 2015 when they voted for reform and the APC.
I believe in the collective wisdom of the people. They will choose the right way for they are Nigerians which means they shall do what is right and just.
No fewer than 252 Special Advisers and Special Assistants to the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, have resigned their positions.
The spokesman of the political appointees, Dasuki Haske, announced this on Sunday at a news conference in the state capital.
He said that their resignation followed the decision of the state governor to dump the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He further explained that their continuous stay in Governor Tambuwal’s cabinet would be in conflict with their loyalty to the APC, hence it became imperative for them to quit.
Haske noted that the aides insisted on ensuring the success of the APC in the state ahead of the 2019 general election as well the re-election of President Muhammad Buhari.
Reacting to the development, the governor’s spokesperson, Abu Shekara, in a statement said that he had earlier directed the termination of the appointment of the affected Special Advisers and Assistants from their positions.
Shekara explained that the governor’s action was to enable the appointees engage in partisan politics without ethical or moral dilemma.
He noted that true democrats can’t find a place in APC, claiming that the party represents an undemocratic organisation.
“These defectors are making a bold statement for democracy and their sacrifices must not go unrecognised,” said the PDP national chairman. “More and more people will leave the APC because no true democrat would find a home in an undemocratic and dictatorial body.”
“APC has shown clearly through their actions and inactions since 2015, that it’s an organisation that is averse to the democratic ethos and, therefore, cannot accommodate lovers of true democracy, rule of law and civil liberty,” he alleged.
Secondus, who led leaders of the opposition party on a solidarity visit to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state in Makurdi, commended the governor for standing up for his people following his defection from the APC to the PDP.
He berated the APC administration for the alleged illegal attempt to impeach Governor Ortom after dumping the party on Wednesday last week, in response to the desires of his people.
The PDP national chairman also condemned the police siege on the Benue state House of Assembly and warned that any attempt to impeach the governor would be resisted by the people.
He, however, said that history has a huge space for all the defectors for their sacrifice to save the nation’s democracy.
Secondus claimed that the fact that the defectors were spread all over the country, irrespective of tribe and religion, showed that the ruling party has failed.
He noted that the political realignments across the country and the enthusiasm shown by Nigerians in the happenings in the country’s polity should be a signal to the APC that their time was up.
“I urge all good democrats and patriots still in APC to make haste to jump out from an obviously sinking ship,” the PDP national chairman added.
He assured those rejoining the PDP and other newcomers that the party has been rebranded and repositioned to regain power and deepen Nigeria’s democracy in 2019.
The announcement comes after weeks of speculation that the governor was planning to leave the ruling party and one day after he called on Nigerians to reject what he described as “prison-yard democracy”.
Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, is the third APC governor to exit the party after his Benue and Kwara state counterparts, Samuel Ortom and Abdulfatah Ahmed joined the PDP.
On July 25, Governor Ortom announced his exit from the APC on the day he was due to meet with the leadership of the ruling party in Abuja over the crisis in the Benue chapter of the party.
He consequently joined the PDP after some youths blocked the entrance of the Government House in Makurdi, preventing the governor from attending the APC reconciliatory meeting.
One week later, Governor Ahmed announced his defection to the opposition party via his official Twitter handle.
He said his decision to dump the APC followed consultations with major stakeholders in the state.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Wednesday dissolved the Sokoto State Executive Council with immediate effect.
The dissolution according to him is aimed at restructuring and strategising the cabinet for optimum efficiency and service delivery to the people of Sokoto State.
In a statement signed on Wednesday by the state Director General, Media and Public Affairs, Mallam Abubakar Shekara, the governor expressed appreciation to the people for cooperating with and supporting the outgoing members of the Council.
The Nigerian Governors’ Forum has commiserated with the people of Akwa Ibom State on the recent collapse of Reigners Bible Church in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital which led to the death of some worshippers.
The incident occurred during the bishopric ordination of its General Overseer, Apostle Akan Weeks.
The Chairman of the forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Yari delivered the message when he led the forum’s delegation on visit to Governor Udom Emmanuel at his country home, Onna.
Governor Yari was accompanied on the visit by Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state and his Kebbi state counterpart, Abubakar Bagudu.
He said that they were in Onna to commiserate with the Governor, the government and people of Akwa Ibom state on the unfortunate collapse of the church building with the governor in attendance.
Yari thanked God for sparing the Governor’s life and commended him for personally supervising rescue operation at the scene of the incident.
The forum also acknowledged the contributions of Governor Emmanuel to efforts aimed at managing the current economic recession in the country.
Governor Udom Emmanuel thanked the delegation for the visit and commended its leadership for the existing bond of unity among the governors in spite of political differences.
He disclosed that his administration has done everything necessary to ensure that victims of the church building collapse receive the best treatment possible for quick recovery.
The Governor assured his colleagues that he remained focused and determined to make life better for the generality of the people in spite of the incident.
The visit was remarkable as the three visiting governors belong to APC while their host belongs to PDP.
Governors from the north-west zone of Nigeria have met in Kaduna to discuss issues affecting the region and the country in general.
The meeting was held behind closed door at the Kaduna State Government House and had in attendance the governors of Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto as well as the deputy governors of Kaduna and Kano states.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina state who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said that the meeting focused on how to revive agriculture as a way of boosting the revenue profile of the states especially during this present economic recession.
“We discussed the issue of taking advantage of the policies of the federal government in the area of agriculture in particular and the states are mobilised towards taking full advantage of the programmes by the federal government,” he said.
He further explained that the governors appraised the ongoing war against cattle rustlers and armed bandits in the region.
“I think cattle rustling has been really reduced to the barest minimum now and we are working together with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the issue of cattle rustling is addressed once and for all,” he promised.
Besides the plans to enhance the security in the region, the governors have also came up with a plan on youth empowerment and job creation that will be implemented by various states.
This, according to him, is to encourage the youths to go back to agriculture which the north is known for.
The Sokoto state government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States government to support primary education in the state.
Under the programme, which will run till 2020, not less than 500,000 school children will be reached.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal signed the agreement alongside the Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mr Michael Harvey.
He said that his government is committed to the full implementation of the project, passed to him from the previous administration.
“This development is clearly a further demonstration of your commitment and our commitment to the future of our children.
“You have clearly been a very good friend, and USAID and indeed the American government have been helpful in so many ways but this particular one which is supporting us in the area of promoting access to quality education in the state is really very key and dear to our hearts.
“I am sure several other states will follow suit and benefit from this benevolence of the US government,” he said.
Governor Tambuwal added that whatever commitment they are supposed to meet as a government they are “ready to meet and ensure that whatever comes to us is judiciously applied as enshrined in the content and letters of this MoU”.