The difference that Tambuwal portrays
NOT a few Nigerians would have been troubled seeing the glaring newspaper headline – A Tambuwal comes to judgement, on Thursday, September 3, 2015. And surely, not a few would have exhaled in deep relief after reading the entire piece, written by a prolific writer.
The quick reading by many would have been that Tambuwal has been caught up by his past or present deeds. Thankfully, Tambuwal had not fallen.
The writer simply wants the former Speaker of the House of Representatives to go to war in his state, Sokoto, where he took charge as governor on May 29, this year.
The beef is that the governor did not disclose publicly what he met on ground in terms of the state of the Sokoto purse, when he came in. To some people, not to toe that line is not just a misgiving, but a sort of mortal sin.
So, latching on the agitation of a citizen of the state, who saw Tambuwal’s decision to move on with the affairs of governance, which of course is expected to be his primary responsibility, without making such a disclosure as an “unusual development,” for which “he could not hide his disgust,” the author, a former commissioner, concluded that AWT stood in judgement as a result.
Notwithstanding the ostensible good intention with which it was couched, even a passive observer would promptly understand that the former federal legislator is being asked to unsheathe his sword and engage in a duel with Wamakko, in the same manner he did with Bafarawa, for the better part of his eight-years in office.
The shout of empty treasury must reverberate from Sokoto as in other states. For it is unlikely for such a call to action to come if there is the belief that the state coffers is filled to the brim.
Now, the question is: how beneficial would this be were AWT to heed this advice and toe this line? Who would gain and who would lose? Yes, the protester was right in pointing out what has become the trend all over the country.
Following the inclination from the central government, the din of massive sleaze has become quite deafening. But suppose the Sokoto governor is thinking differently?
Suppose he has seen the futility in the result of such past duels between incumbent governors and those they replaced – Chimaroke Nnamani and Sullivan Chime in Enugu, Godswill Akpabio and Victor Attah in Akwa Ibom, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi and Peter Odili in Rivers, Adamu Mu’azu and Isa Yuguda in Bauchi, Gabriel Suswam and George Akume in Benue, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Ibrahim Shekarau in Kano, Peter Obi and Willie Obiano in Anambra and of course, Wamakko and Bafarawa in Sokoto, among the long list? Again, suppose he believes that even if there is anything to complain about, it ought not be celebrated and therefore, has simply and quietly handed the information to the relevant authorities to attend to and take action.
After all, there are different roads to the market. Indeed, Tambuwal has proved himself to possess some kind of a rare leadership quality.
Or what else could have been responsible for a complete four-year stint as the primus inter pares in the House of Representatives without a single scandal, when his predecessors left the same office bespattered with the paint-brush of shame, to put it mildly? Not only was there no issue of official sleaze such as supplying toothpaste and brooms to members who did not need them, at exorbitant costs, but that nobody pointed fingers directly at him or at each other under his watch has become a reference point for leadership.
Why not? No other result would be expected from a Speaker, who maintains personal relations with other members of the Chamber and still have time to carry out his official functions.
That some Nigerians rolled out the drums when the news broke that he was eying Nigeria’s number one job, while some quickly went to obtain the presidential form for him even before he could give his words clearly underscores this sentiment.
Tambuwal is not bugged down by primordial sentiments, and therefore could sit comfortably at a boat regatta in the creeks of the Niger Delta, be comfortable at an Ofala festival in the South East, savour the Eyo festival in Lagos and at the same time do his durbar in Kano or Sokoto.
Now, is this hard-earned image what he is being called to give up, so soon after being entrusted with another tasking responsibility of leading his people out of the doldrums of poverty? Certainly, the demonstrable texture of what AWT appears to be bringing to the Seat of the Caliphate, hardly suits this template.
Here was a governor that waited patiently at a traffic light and when one of the citizens, tried to act the Nigerian in him by pulling out of the queue in apparent attempt to beat the traffic, drove out and blocked the offending driver, gave him a good lesson on the essence and benefits of patience, to the admiration of other onlookers.
Ask that gateman at one of the hospitals in the state, who could not believe his eyes when he discovered that the driver of the vehicle he was inspecting was the number one citizen of the state. Ask the residents of that street likely to win N1 million for being the cleanest in the state.
Ask the workers who would soon pack into the 250 units of houses in the Workers Estate in the state capital, or the 4,250 beneficiaries of the job opportunities that are to be created by that singular exercise, which foundation stone was laid only recently. Ask the ordinary citizens of Sokoto State how they are faring already and about the new wave of fresh air blowing across the firmament.
Tambuwal certainly has his eyes on the ball. He is busy laying a solid foundation in terms of health, education, security, industrialisation and human development. Surely, he could do with little distraction at this moment because a bigger task awaits him. • Igboanugo, a journalist, lives in Abuja