For wriggling the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) out of a leadership crisis that could have ruined it a few months to the electioneering season, deploying his sagacity and leadership qualities to bear in piloting the affairs of the most powerful bloc within the party, the PDP Governors’ Forum, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwalof Sokoto State is LEADERSHIP Politician of the Year 2021
In the last decade, Sokoto State governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has grown to become one of the influential figures in Nigeria’s political space. And it is for a reason: his political astuteness, dexterity and pragmatism have served him well. This year, he has displayed such habitual qualities as a key figure who helped in galvanizing his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), steering it away from the brink of implosion following a nail-biting change of the party’s leadership.
Many had feared the worst might happen to the main opposition party in the country, especially when it seemed as if it was tottering back to a familiar but inglorious past of long-drawn legal and political battles that almost killed it in 2016. The sack of the Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee (NWC) before the end of its tenure attracted a lot of backlash.
Not a few political watchers anticipated a major crisis, with the governors who are the most influential bloc within the party slightly divided on the matter. At this stage, how the governors managed their internal affairs was significantly important to the resolution of the crisis. What’s more, it was essential that they win the confidence of other critical party stakeholders in order to ensure that the party retains its uniting value. This required a distinct mix of empathy and painstaking negotiations, the type that should ensure that if the party didn’t become more united, it however shouldn’t be more broken. Clearly, the PDP was as much in need of advancing its fortune as it was in damage control mode.
Naturally, such responsibility fell on the laps of the leader of the party’s governors’ forum, Tambuwal, whom his colleagues and other party stakeholders looked up to to coordinate such a delicate process. All eyes were on the PDP Governors’ Forum chairman, scrutinising his every move, especially as his rumored presidential ambition had become widespread.
But after weeks of painstaking negotiations to ensure that the party retains its uniting value as best it can, the PDP held its national convention, producing a new leadership largely based on consensus arrangement. Although many would think that the outcome was more of a collective credit to the governors, there is no disputing the fact that Tambuwal was picked by his equals to lead them because of such a time when what just happened in the party was anticipated — a time that required clear, level-headed leadership, devoid of hubris, to manage the big egos of his colleagues, which eventually restored calm after the storm.
Beyond his years of experience at handling political crises as was seen in his days as speaker of the House of Representatives, Tambuwal’s ability to win and retain the confidence of his colleagues and other stakeholders in a political setting where loyalty is fluid attests to a good dose of brilliance and political sagacity.
Born January 10, 1966, Tambuwal has been governor of Sokoto State since the 2015 general election. He contested the 2019 presidential primary of the PDP but lost. He was however re-elected governor in the 2019 general election. He served as the 10th speaker of the House of Representatives, while representing the Tambuwal/Kebbe Federal Constituency of Sokoto State.
He attended Tambuwal Primary School, Tambuwal, Sokoto State, where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1979, and Government Teachers’ College, Dogon-Daji, where he obtained the Teachers Grade 11 Certificate in 1984. He then proceeded to Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, where he studied Law, graduating with an LLB (Hons) degree in 1991.
He completed his one-year compulsory legal studies at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, obtaining his BL before he was called to the Bar in 1992.
Apart from studying for his Law degree, he attended several courses abroad, among which are the following: Telecoms Regulatory Master Class – Bath UK, 2004; Lawmaking for the Communications Sectors – BMIT, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2004; Regulating a Competitive Industry — UK, Brussels, 2005; Tulane University – International Legislative Drafting, 2005; Stanford Graduate School of Business – Influence and Negotiation, 2008; and KSG Harvard – Infrastructure in Market Economy, 2009.
Tambuwal started learning the legislative ropes from 1999 to 2000, while working as personal assistant on Legislative Affairs to Senator Abdullahi Wali, the then Senate leader. In 2003, he decided to run for a legislative seat as representative of the Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency. He was elected into the House of Representatives on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).
A few months before the 2007 general election, he joined the DPP alongside former governor of Sokoto State Attahiru Bafarawa. But when the DPP denied return tickets to former ANPP legislators, Tambuwal returned to the ANPP where he eventually succeeded in picking up a ticket for the election. He however returned to PDP when the ANPP governorship candidate for Sokoto State in the 2007 election, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko, joined the PDP.
Tambuwal held several offices in the House. In 2005, he became the minority leader until he defected to the PDP. Upon his re-election to the House in 2007, he was also elected deputy chief whip. At various times, he was a member of several committees, including the House committees on Rules & Business, Communications, Judiciary, Inter-Parliamentary and Water Resources. He was also a member of the House Ad hoc Committee on Constitution Review.
He was chairman of the ad hoc committee that reviewed the report of the controversial power probe committee headed by Ndudi Elumelu; Chairman, House sub-committee on the Bill for an Act to Amend the Land Use Act; and acting chairman, House Committee on Power. He was leader of the Nigerian delegation to African, Caribbean, Pacific & European Union Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU) and served as vice chairman, Economic Committee ACP-EU, held in Prague, Czech Republic, in April 2009.
On October 28, 2014, Tambuwal formally defected from the ruling PDP to the opposition APC; a few days later, his security details were withdrawn by the inspector-general of police, a move that was criticised by Nigerians as being barbaric and undemocratic. On April 11, 2015, Tambuwal contested and won the governorship election of Sokoto State. He was inaugurated on May 29, 2015. On August 1, 2018, Tambuwal defected from the APC back to the PDP.
Leave a Reply