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Tambuwal’s model and resolution of senate crisis

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Tambuwal has model for resolution of senate crisis

Tambuwalism is a political ideology which refers to the acquisition of political power through popular votes against imposition by the dominant few and the exercise, consolidation and legitimization of the acquired power through compromise, concession, dialogue, vibrancy and popular actions.

The word Tambuwalism has its root in the Speakership of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the incumbent Governor of Sokoto State who was the Speaker, Nigerian 7th House of Representatives from 2011 -2015.

Tambuwalism is coined by the author of this material after observing Tambuwal as a member who represented Tambuwal/Kebbe Federal constituency, Sokoto State from 2003-2015 and carried out detailed study of his speakership from 2011-2015.

The researcher arrived at the conclusion that the acquisition and exercise of power by Tambuwal as a speaker was novel and revolutionized power structure in the leadership of National Assembly which made the apex law making body relatively independent and therefore recommends Tambuwalism as a neoligic term, Ideology and movement in Nigeria’s political lexicon, taking into cognizance the fact that Tambuwal left behind the legacy of independent legislature .

Having compared Tambuwal’s 4 year rule as the Speaker and the crisis that has bedeviled the 8th Nigerian Senate since June 9th, 2015 when Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki became the Present of the Senate, I am of the strong opinion that Tambuwal’s model and style bordering on compromise, concession, dialogue, vibrancy and popular action could have been and can still be the panacea to the crises that have engulfed the senate.

Since our current democratic experiment began in 1999, the leadership of National Assembly had been determined through zoning and imposition of puppet leadership by the presidency and the ruling party in power where one man or few powerful elements would sit down somewhere, allocate the positions in National Assembly and ride rough shod over the views of the parliamentarians.

Similarly, the same manner of imposing the leadership had been the same manner of the removal of the leadership of NASS. 

These leadership vices made the National Assembly weak, subservient and rubber stamp of the executive arm of federal government. 

The independence, integrity and public confidence in National Assembly was eroded because of the prevalence of puppet and compromised leadership in the institution.

The ugly trend occurred in 1999, 2003 and 2007 when the leviathan and powerful executive and the rampaging party stalwarts conspired and imposed their preferred candidates as leaders of the National Assembly.

However, the story changed entirely in 2011 when Tambuwal vied for and won the speakership of the House of Representatives in defiance to the ruling party directives which zoned the then speakership to south-west geopolitical zone and to Hon Mulikat Akande in particular. 

There was a keenly contested speakership election between Tambuwal who enjoyed amazing popular support from his colleagues and Mulikat who was the preferred candidate of the ruling party oligarchy; and at the end, Tambuwal emerged victorious with a wide margin.

That Tambuwal’s popular victory against the directives of the ruling oligarchy marked a turning point in the freedom of National Assembly members to elect their own leaders against what was obtainable in the past. 

The acquisition of power by popular means against the whims and caprices of the then ruling party inspired and boosted the momentum of the campaign for National Assembly freedom and independence because the incumbent speaker Yakubu Dogara and incumbent president of the senate, Dr Bukola Saraki emerged through Tambuwalism where they got popular support and votes from their colleagues and without the rapacious manipulation outside the red and green chambers respectively.

As a matter of fact, Tambuwal took a big risk which has now paid off for the sustenance and deepening of democracy in Nigeria; freedom of NASS to choose their own leaders and independence of the legislative arm of government.

Having emerged as speaker, it was not yet Uhuru for Tambuwal as political gadflies were miffed and incest with his actions and were ready to make the House ungovernable for him. 

However, Tambuwal applied enormous political sagacity, uncommon strategy and winning tactics to let himself off the hook of the trap set for him. 

He played politics of compromise by quickly visiting the Acting national chairman of the then ruling party, Dr. Haliru Bello and accompanied by his Deputy, Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, other House stalwarts and openly apologized to the ruling party for rebilling against its directives and begged for forgiveness in a father-son relationship. 

That singular act doused tension in the political space; calmed frayed nerves and reduced the anger of those ready to fire destructive political arrows at Tambuwal.

The next survival tool Tambuwal applied was politics of concession and accommodation by working for the concession of principal leadership position to his fellow contestant who was backed by the ruling party and that was how Mulikat became the majority leader. 

That particular concession massaged the ego of the party leaders and that was part of the saving grace for Tambuwal. 

Current Speaker Yakubu Dogara did it in the House at the heat of the opprobrium which trailed his emergence as the speaker. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila who is the eye of the political godfathers became the majority leader in the House due to the concession arrangement even though the south- east was totally alienated from that power –sharing scheme but that brought peace in the House.

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