Posted by News Express | 21 October 2014 | 4,572 times
The speaker of the House of Representatives yesterday moved closer to joining the All Progressives Congress (APC) by attending a meeting of its Sokoto stakeholders which decided to concede the governorship ticket to the southern zone where he hails from.
Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal’s participation sparked speculations that he had finally defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.
But his office said he was still consulting on his political future, and that he attended the meeting on invitation by Governor Aliyu Wamakko.
The meeting, held in Sokoto, was attended by party leaders including Wamakko, who said at the opening that Tambuwal had been “part and parcel” of the formation of APC.
“I know your eyes are on Speaker Tambuwal, but let me tell you that he had been part and parcel of the formation of this party and he has been attending its activities,” he said.
During the closed-door session that followed, the party’s governorship ticket was zoned to Sokoto South on the grounds that the East and Central zones had governed the state for two consecutive terms each.
Sources at the meeting told Daily Trust that a committee has been set up to choose a consensus governorship candidate for the party from aspirants of Sokoto South origin.
Apart from Tambuwal, others in the zone interested in the governorship seat are Finance Commissioner Faruk Malami Yabo, Senator Umaru Dahiru and Alhaji Yushe’u Kebbe.
After the issue of zoning was decided upon, stakeholders asked Wamakko to give them direction as regards to who should be the consensus governorship candidate, but he rejected this, saying he had sworn not to arbitrarily choose a successor.
“But he assured us that whoever emerges at the end he would give him all the support he needs to win in the election,” a participant told Daily Trust.
It was because of this decision by the governor that a 21-member committee was set up to come up with a consensus candidate for the party from the southern zone, Daily Trust learnt. The committee is headed by Alhaji Aminu Tambari Tafida with Barrister Suleiman Tsaki as secretary.
Soon after the meeting, there were reports on the Internet that Tambuwal had defected to APC, given his presence at the stakeholders’ event.
But a statement later by spokesman Imam Imam said the speaker was yet to decide on his political future and that he attended the meeting on invitation by the governor.
Imam said chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, led other party leaders to a reconciliation meeting in Sokoto yesterday but Tambuwal was not invited even though he is a member of the party’s national executive committee.
“Tambuwal was later invited by (Wamakko) to attend the meeting of their political family to discuss the political future of Sokoto State,” he said.
The speaker “duly obliged and attended the meeting,” which, Imam said, “had in attendance prominent Sokoto citizens many of who have no known political affiliation. The most notable been (sic) the Sardauna of Sokoto and former Minister of Finance, Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji.
“That consultations on the Speaker’s political future continues and the outcome will be made public at the appropriate time.”
In spite of the clarification by his office, associates told Daily Trust that Tambuwal’s participation at that meeting was the clearest indication yet that he is about to join the APC.
After the meeting, the speaker proceeded to his hometown, Tambuwal, sparking further speculation that he was there to register as member of the APC. But it was not clear if he did that.
Daily Trust learnt that the speaker is still weighing options—either to seek for the APC presidential ticket or to stand for Sokoto governor.
If he decides to go for the governorship, he would have to join APC before the Sokoto consensus committee would consider him to be an aspirant.
He would also have to obtain the APC nomination form by next week when submission of forms would close.
In the event Tambuwal decides to join the presidential race in APC, he would have up to November 6 to obtain and return the nominations forms.
•Credit (except headline): Daily Trust Photo shows, from left; Former Minister of Youths Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal and Governor Aliyu Wamakko at the APC stakeholders meeting in Sokoto yesterday.
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