Today, 10th January 2021, marks another stepping stone into the diamond stage of life for Sokoto State Governor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR, Mutawallen Sokoto, as he clocks 55. To many in the state, it is another milestone in the life of their political leader. They believe his emergence in the political arena has once redefined the state’s political stereotype.
Since he made a bold but visionary step into politics in 2003, Tambuwal’s successes in political leadership have been divine for many to learn, grow and benefit. As a new entrant in the House of Representatives then, Tambuwal’s leadership virtue was spotted which prompted his appointment to chair a Committee in the House. Upon his re-election to the House in 2007, he was also elected the Deputy Chief Whip.
Within the same period of his fresh parliamentary exposure, he was made the House Leader of the 6th National Assembly and eventually rose to become the Speaker of the House of Representatives against all odds in the 7th Assembly.
By the time he was leaving the Speakership position in 2014, there were two dual offers awaiting him. His colleagues in the House, who were impressed by his leadership’s qualities, collectively agreed to purchase his party’s presidential form for him. On the other hand electorate back home in Sokoto State were already waiting for him to take over the state’s mantle of leadership as their governor.
At this period, Tambuwal’s acceptability as presidential material has cut across the six geo-political zones while it was so rooted among his colleagues that resulted in a mild show of’ chanting him as the ‘real leader Nigeria deserved’ during a joint session of the National Assembly while the then incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan, was making his budget speech. But, for Tambuwal, he was not in a hurry to lead the country. His choice to leverage his selfless leadership at the state level by accepting to serve as the 6th democratically elected Governor of the caliphate state was a surprise to many.
His motive, to the best of all, is to further master the role of leadership ahead of a greater opportunities laying in the future. This, he mastered diligently and now mentoring other progressives to grow in the same direction. Today, Tambuwal has set an unprecedented record his predecessors could not attain in the state by single-handedly dismantling the hierarchy of godfatherism in Sokoto politics.
To be specific, Tambuwal will be remembered as someone who liberated the state from the grips of an oligarchy-styled politician, Aliyu Wamakko, who had always claimed to have in his custody Sokoto electorates’ decision in an election, regardless of their political affiliations. This bold step has paved ways for Tambuwal to successfully commence the current developmental agenda ongoing in the state.
These projects are testimonies to these; the construction of THREE modern flyovers, construction of FOUR world-class hospitals (three premier hospitals and a teaching hospital) and construction of TWO dual carriage roads – Waziri Abbas and Maituta – with the initial figures symbolising his electoral winning magic numbers of 3-4-2 (THREE-FOUR-TWO).
By the end of 2022, when these ongoing projects will be completed, Tambuwal would no doubt set another unprecedented record that no governor of the state has achieved. He will emerge as the first-ever incumbent governor to have built a teaching hospital; first-ever governor to build TWO flyover bridges at a go, and first-ever governor to build ultra-modern Sports Arena. Already, Tambuwal has won for himself as the first political icon that has not been invited or questioned on any corruption-related claims or charges.
Just recently, Governor Tambuwal won the heart of the World Bank as it granted the state a whopping sum of $22 million for its commitment to the implementation of the State’s Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme. Sokoto clinched the grant after its astronomical score in the programme ranking from 2/5 in 2019 to 14/15 in 2020, which puts it among the top three states in the country to achieve such ranking.
Governor Tambuwal’s reforms effort, no doubt is a detour from business as usual paradox in the state over the past years. He is determined to ensure that the state is bequeathed with strong institutions for good governance. Alas, with these unprecedented strides in both legislative and executive leadership, is there any candidate to lead this country out of insecurity, collapsed economy and bad governance than TAMBUWAL?
Reason: for all the contenders that have shown interest in taking a shot at the presidency in 2023, Tambuwal remains the youngest, at 55 today, if we are checking how young leaders are performing across the world. He is set to be placed side by side with the likes of Emmanuel Macron of France and Kim Jong Un of North Korea, among others.
Similarly, who could be better than Tambuwal in bridging the gap of national unity between the North and South, when his stewardship as Speaker of the House of Representatives is taken into cognisance? By Allah’s grace, Tambuwal will win future presidential election.
. ASSADA is Senior Special Assistant to Governor Tambuwal and he wrote this piece from Sokoto.