It’s a history replete with series of betrayals and treachery for more than 30 years. His politics is synonymous with biting the finger that fed him.
That played out when President Muhammadu Buhari first embarked on medical vacation to London. The president’s illness created an aperture for Governor Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State to deepen and perfect his treacherous game: Let the president dies, let me become a vice president.
He oiled his machinery and embarked on a never-ending political voyage across the country – knocking at the doors of hubs of political influence – begging to be considered as a new deputy in the tragic event that the president is dead.
That is why when good-spirited Nigerians – both Muslims and Christians – were busy organizing prayer sessions and vigils across the country beseeching their creator to heal President Buhari, Tambuwal was on the other hand, busy spending Sokoto tax payers’ money by upping his game of begging for endorsement.
While governance in Sokoto state suffers, Tambuwal is busy shuttling in hired private jets canvassing for support from prominent politicians and former Nigerian rulers for his inordinate ambition of becoming Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s deputy in his desperate quest for Buhari’s death.
While it is not easy for him to permeate the political wall of the gentleman vice president, the governor cashed on the raging battle of supremacy between the Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sansui II and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, by deploying all the arsenals at his disposal to save the Kano emir from imminent sack.
His endless efforts in saving Sanusi’s throne is not out compassion as many Nigerians will tend to believe. Tambuwal look at the raging crisis to better the lot of his ambition.
The scenario is simple: Emir Sanusi has the ears of Osinbajo and APC leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. In the unfortunate even of Buhari’s exit before 2019, Sanusi can facilitate the appointment of Tambuwal as vice president. Selfishness.
Tambuwal believes he’s the smartest and the greatest manipulator because after holding a secret meeting in China with Governors of Kano and Zamfara where an agreement was reached to contact Aso Rock before any move of removing Sanusi; he however betrayed them as usual and aligned with Sanusi after his return.
His desperation made him to beg the Awujale of Ijebuland and Oba of Lagos to intercede on Tambuwal behalf before Tinubu- all in his attempt to become vice-president.
As early as last week Friday, Tambuwal pressured the Sultan of Sokoto, who was literally forced to disguised himself and sneaked into the vice president residence in Abuja in an unmarked car driven by a former Minister of Transports Yusuf Suleiman, all in a desperate bid to faciliate Tambuwal appointment.
During the birthday colloquim of Tinubu, Tambuwal was the first to arrive the venue in Lagos. He abandoned his commissioners who were on retreat in Jos, just to be a good boy.
This may sound weird to many Nigerians who are unaware of Tambuwal’s political antecedents, and his culture of treachery and betrayal.
For beginners, Tambuwal was educated at a rural primary school in Tambuwal. He proceeded to Teachers College, Dogon Daji and finally ended up at the Usman Danfodiyo University – all in Sokoto State.
After graduation and unsuccessful law practice, he manipulated and imposed himself at the baggy man of Alhaji Abubakar Shehu Tambuwal, who was Commissioner of Education in Governor Yahaya Abdulkareem’s National Republican Convention-led government in Sokoto State.
After the return of democracy, Alhaji Abubakar Tambuwal as Peoples Democractic Party (PDP) chairman in the state in 2003, was to nominate a candidate to the House of Representatives his constituency . He nominated Waziri Tambuwal.
Tambuwal contested the PDP primaries with Bala Kokani Kebbe. Kokani roundly defeated Tambuwal at the primaries.
After that Waziri Tambuwal dumped his benefactor Abubakar Tambuwal. In fact, they are not even in speaking terms.
In his desperate attempt to grab the ticket, Tambuwal defected to the All Nigerians Peoples Party (ANPP). He later embraced the then Governor Attahiru Bafarawa, who gave him the House of Representatives ticket under the ANPP.
In 2007, when he wanted second term ticket, he dumped Bafarawa and embraced the then Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, who gave him the ticket.
At the House of Representatives, He reduced himself to the status of a house boy to Speaker Dimeji Bankole. He later abandoned Bankole. Today, Tambuwal doesn’t even know where Bankole is.
When he wanted to become the House of Representatives speaker, he redirected his loyalty to his colleague, Femi Gbajabiamila who took him to Tinubu.
Gbajabiamila convinced Tinubu to support Tambuwal’s ambition, which he did by mobilising the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) block votes that gave Tambuwal the needed support to emerge as speaker against all political odds.
In June 2015 when Gbajabiamila wanted to be speaker House of Representatives, Tambuwal paid him back by mobilising the lawmakers for his rival, Yakubu Dogara. He betrayed Gbajabiamila and Tinubu, just like he did to Wamakko, Bafarawa and Abubakar Shehu Tambuwal in the past.
This treacherous game is continuing. He is desperately wishing President Buhari dead to actualise his inordinate ambition of becoming the vice president.
It is noteworthy to state here that President Buhari will return from London hale and hearty. He will lead this country to the promised land.
It is therefore left for Tambuwal to empty the treasury of the cash crunch Sokoto state and contest the 2019 elections with Buhari. He has the democratic right to do so.
Abdullahi, a public affairs analyst, writes from Abuja