Tambuwal, a missed opportunity of a ‘Nigerian President’

By Sunny Igboanugo on 17/05/2017

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Months to the runup of the 2015 presidential election, there was an indication that Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, then Speaker of the House of Representatives, was gearing up to contest the election. In fact, the news actually broke that some of his associates from the Green Chambers, and across the country, had actually purchased the nomination form for him to contest the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), then warming up for its convention to pick a candidate to challenge the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

However, Tambuwal, himself was to blow out that flame suddenly, even as the smoke was already spiralling forcefully in different directions within the country. That was how the story fizzled out as quickly as it began to gather more verve. Of course, the real reason may never be known beyond the confines of insiders, but what got out was that the elders in the North and the APC, prevailed on the ebullient and versatile young man to bury his ambition – because he still had many years in front of him – one of the usual sentiments played up to confine the young of Nigeria to a certain level of political aspiration.

Of course, the result is evident. Tambuwal, having obviously succumbed to an evidently more forceful pressure, went for the lesser office of governor of his home, Sokoto State, while General Muhammadu Buhari, as he then was, the beneficiary of that political arrangement, took over and eventually became President.  

Now, imagine if the situation was swapped. Imagine if Tambuwal and his promoters had stood their ground. Picture what would have been the situation, were the situation different, given the current scenario of the present Nigeria? Imagine if a Tambuwal were Nigeria’s President today.

Naturally, those who threw up his name and actually went to purchase the APC nomination form, actually knew what they saw. Some of them were the direct and indirect beneficiaries of his quality of leadership in the House of Representatives. Others tested and tasted the benefits and testify that he is one of the most detribalised Nigeria today, a major quality, which the Nigerian polity has been denied of for so long, but which is vital in that it ensconces all the yearnings of Nigerians for a true and representative polity, where everyone has equal stake.


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Not only was his tenure stripped of the magnitude of infractions that dogged the Dimeji Bankole era he replaced, it was one decked in a high-level political architecture within and even outside the House and the entire National Assembly that it was clear to critical observers that only such a mindset that was needed as one of the most potent elixirs for addressing the fundamental malaises of Nigeria as a country.   

Yes! Mindset is everything. It is all that is required to make a great Nigerian President that can make Nigeria great equally. Picture what that phenomenon is doing to Sokoto, where that mindset has found expression in almost deafening mantra for education, which he has made the vortex around which his government rotates. Contrary to prevailing thinking and scenarios within his immediate neighbourhoods, he seems to understand that it is only education that could engender the creative climate through which individuals could free their minds from obnoxious and noxious influences necessary for not only attaining their full potentials, but building a robust and workable modern society.   

Regrettably, there are so many Nigerian Tambuwals out there who have been elbowed out of the way by the same primordial sentiments that prevented his attempt and possibly chances of emerging Nigerian President in 2015.

The direct consequence of that is the heightened agitation in many quarters to dismember Nigeria, as the impact of the contrary choice Nigeria was forced to make register in many ways.

Currently trending in the news is a video of the visit of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, where the latter revealed what the President allegedly told him about the Igbo and how the North would NEVER forget the killing of their leaders.

In fact, even if anybody is going to dispute the veracity of that account, Buhari’s treatment of Ndigbo, in his two-year administration, is an ample evidence of not only a mindset, but THE MINDSET.

Indeed, that revelation, vitiates the argument that the South East was being so treated because of the measure, which they gave Buhari during the election, where he got the least number of votes. It shows clearly that most, if not everything was about the war.

Quite salient to note, if Fani-Kayode’s revelation is true, is that the hundreds of Igbo officers that were killed in the counter coup, the hundreds of thousands Igbo indigenes that died subsequently, including some women corralled forcefully to leprosy colonies to be raped and abused, the pregnant women, whose bowels were slit open to reveal the sex of their babies and the hundreds of thousands more that died in subsequent riots up North, are not enough to assuage the anger of the President and those who think like him. Yet, that cannot be taken in totality.

Yes, there were Alhaji Shehu Shagari and the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, as Presidents and two former military Heads of State, outside Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida and Abulsalami Abubakar, who in spite of being aware of the same history, still maintained some level of equilibrium within the polity, perhaps, to underscore the fact that history is not static, but an evolving and organic phenomenon.

Incidentally, just like previous examples show that not every northerner is like Buhari, there are so many like him in all parts of the country, who espouse and promote his kind of sentiments. The lesson therefore, is that Nigerians must always be mindful of what impels them to confer leadership on certain personalities. They should never allow with ugly, unproductive and bizarre mindsets get close to power.

In fact, having missed the opportunity of a Tambuwal coming to power in 2015, Nigerians must look for his likes at the earliest opportunity. The ranks of men and women, who are either too young to experience the past Nigerian history such as the war or have virtually weaned themselves of such a rankling history, have not depleted yet. They abound in all parts of the country. The task is in the ability to find them, whilst preventing many primordial sentiments that denied Nigeria such a choice the last time.

Today, Buhari is out of the country due to his ill-health after inflicting such tremendous injury to the nation’s unity. Perhaps, God would have mercy on him and return him to good health and back to power. Possibly, if that happens, he would be sober, wise and prudent enough with his future ideas, knowing that no man can be God or play God, successfully.

Else, there must be a Nigerian Tambuwal, either from Sokoto, Nnewi or Abeokuta as an alternative, if there must be Nigeria.  




Source Whirlwindnews.com

Posted on May, 17 2017

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