Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto reveals how he, Saraki and Yari fell out with Asiwaju Tinubu
Tambuwal says the initial plan in 2015 was to make Femi Gbajabiamila speaker of the House of Representatives
The governor further claims that Asiwaju Tinubu reneged on his promise concerning Saraki The governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has made some revelation concerning the cold political relationships between him and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
He also revealed what happened between the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and Governor Abdul’aziz Yari of Zamfara state.
In an exclusive interview with Vanguard, Tambuwal said Saraki offended Tinubu by kicking against the latter’s plot to run on the same ticket with President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
According to him, Saraki believed that a Muslim-Muslim ticket would not help the success of the then newly formed APC.
The governor also said prior to the emergence of the leadership of the National Assembly, he and Yari met with Tinubu in Lagos to intimate him of developments and make him realize that the odds favoured Yakubu Dogara.
He said he, however, told Tinubu that he and Yari could talk to Dogara to become the deputy speaker to Femi Gbajabiamila, the APC leader’s choice in 2015.
Tambuwal explained further that after much persuasion, he was able to convince Tinubu to agree for Saraki to become the deputy Senate president while Ahmed Lawan, the APC’s choice, would be made the head of the National Assembly.
However, he said the plan changed shortly after he left Tinubu as Lawan and George Akume were teamed up for the positions. He also said the agreement on the Gbajabiamila and Dogara tickets were jettisoned by the APC chieftain. As a result,
Dogara emerged as the speaker after meeting with a few other people to get the complete magnitude of support. “When my tenure was expiring and as a leader in APC whether anyone liked it or not because I was number four at that time, and when Bola Tinubu was working towards bringing Femi, he never called me, quote me! I initiated a meeting with Bola Tinubu on my own volition with Governor Abdulaziz Yari; we went to him ‘this thing you are doing, you are not talking to us?’
“He said I am sorry and that was when he “realised” that he needed to talk to us in his interest in Femi becoming speaker. So, we sat down, and we agreed to sit down again, but he didn’t call us back until when it was getting late, and I initiated a meeting with him in Lagos. I flew with some serving members of the House of Representatives and some incoming members of the House to Lagos and had a four-hour meeting with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“Before we started, we intreated into an inner room and told members of the House of Representatives to tell him the truth between themselves and God Almighty if there should be election who would win between Femi and Dogara. They took their turns, and including those close to him, they told him that if we should go into a free and fair process, that Dogara would win. “
When we retreated, I said: ‘Asiwaju, you have heard from my colleagues, but let me ask you what made you feel that you needed not to talk to me or invite me to come and discuss with me how someone should come and take over from me?’
“He said: ‘Aminu, I am sorry, I am sorry it was an oversight’. So, I said: ‘Okay, you have heard, what do you want? You want Femi as speaker?’ He said yes. I said: ‘Okay, I am not opposed to it, but let me tell you, we need to pair Femi and Dogara together as speaker and deputy speaker. If you want Femi, I can support Femi, he is my friend, but we have to make sure that Dogara is on the ticket as deputy speaker’. “
We went back and forth, back and forth and we agreed. He said to me: ‘Aminu, is that the deal?’ I said: ‘That is the deal. I will go back and talk to Dogara’. We discussed about Senate president, and he said no, Bukola has not spoken to him, he has not done this and that. I said: ‘No, Bukola has been to you three times and on each of those three times, he had briefed me, and you know how close Bukola and I are, so Asiwaju don’t tell me that’.
“I said to him: ‘You have spoken to an emir in the north for about 45 minutes that you want to take your pound of flesh because Bukola didn’t support you to become vice-president and that he should not get Senate president’. “He said: ‘Ah, how did you get to know?’ I told him the emir told me; you don’t know how close I am to that emir.
So, I said: ‘Asiwaju; I know what the game is. We had insisted that Bola Tinubu should not be running mate to Buhari. Buhari had already caved in, and we said that with Muslim-Muslim ticket, we could not win and that was my first offence. That was my first offence with Tinubu, not this House of Representatives politics. That was also the offence by Bukola, offence by Yari.”
He continued: “I said I could go and talk to Bukola (to become the deputy Senate president). And I told him my reasons why I was supporting Bukola. I said outside my relationship with him (Saraki), I said in my presence, in the presence of God, in your study, you encouraged Bukola to go and become senator so that he could become Senate president. In my presence, only three of us with God! You Asiwaju, you did that. “
Two, I know his capacity, and we are very close, and I know he can provide leadership. Three, the governor I am taking over from is supporting Bukola, do you want me to start fighting him by going to support someone else? And there were some other factors.
I told him these are the reasons. Let me have something to go back with, let’s talk to Bukola let him take deputy Senate president to Lawan, let Femi be speaker, let Dogara be deputy speaker. “We spent four hours in his office in Lagos. He gave me an indication that he had agreed but that Bukola should come and see him. I went and told Bukola, go and see Asiwaju.
Few weeks later, they came up with their mock primaries. When they said there was going to be mock primaries, the next thing I saw was that mock primaries had been held and Monguno had stepped down for Femi and that they had paired. And that George Akume and Ahmad Lawan had formed a ticket. This was in clear contradiction of the agreement. He (Tinubu) is alive!”