Tambuwal denies presidential bid, as APC leader says party’ll never give Speaker its ticket

Aminu Tambuwal

The Speaker’s presidential ambition may have run into a hitch as APC considers his candidacy a risk.

Officials serving with House of Representatives speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, almost seethe at suggestions the speaker may be preparing for the presidency in 2015, despite a list of high-ranking endorsements he has received lately.

Aides say reports of meetings involving the speaker for a likely presidential ticket are mere media inventions, and are largely imaginary.

“These things are all figments of the imagination of those who report them,” Imam Imam, spokesperson for the speaker, said recently.

He amplified that refutation with remarks about the speaker’s focus on his current mandate.

“The speaker has a four-year mandate on behalf of the Nigerian people and he has just reached mid-term; he wants to be left to do that job to the satisfaction of all Nigerians.”

But as the disclaimers are issued, evidences increasingly stack high, pointing to a politician with vigorous ambition, who only deploys caution to a well-known slippery turf.

Lawmakers and staff close to the speaker say instead of jumping at the multiple endorsements he has received lately, Mr. Tambuwal has given more attention to reviewing their sources, how sincere they may possibly be, and other relevant factors as he plods on attempting to avoid a pitfall.

In driving that thin-skinned process, the speaker’s most ranking endorsement yet- the call by former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, urging him to seek higher office- has turned out his most troubling, demanding of utmost prudence, according to officials knowledgeable about the matter.

Mr. Babangida’s call came early April at the investiture of the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, as the Vanguard Newspaper’s Man of the Year. Speaking estimably of Mr. Tambuwal’s conduct in office as one capable “to sustain the labour of our heroes past”, the former leader urged the speaker to try something higher.

“When leaders like Tambuwal delivered on their electoral promises, we advise them to try something higher,” he said. “For Tambuwal, your guess is as good as mine.”

But the top-notch remark, his author well reputed for implicit and uncertain prospects, turned out one demanding of circumspection for the speaker; a scenario made worse by the retired general’s almost failure to convince all of his permanent disinterest in the position he has so yearned for since leaving office in 1993, our sources say.

“No one really knows whether it was a good thing the man did or not,” the source, who requested his identity not be disclosed, said.

Yet, however dismal or promising Mr. Babangida’s recommendation, it was that which dramatically upped the speaker’s rating as a prospective candidate for 2015, drawing talks of affiliation with the opposition parties for that purpose.

List of endorsements

After that encounter, Mr. Tambuwal has since been singled out for lavish praise repeatedly by regional leaders, politicians, lawmakers and even opposition party members; and he has followed those through with a body language that makes it tough straining him away from an imminent presidency plans as his aides so earnestly argue.

In each of the speaker’s recommendations, his relatively more stable leadership at the house and his staying power in jettisoning his party formular during his emergence as speaker in 2011, are constantly cited.

Recently, the Northern Elders’ Forum said while it had not decided on a consensus northern candidate for the presidency in 2015, Mr. Tambuwal was a striking option.

“The Northern Elders Forum will support a candidate from the North. But we have yet to zero in on anybody, whether Christian or Muslim. However, with what Tambuwal has done as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, he looks quite attractive,” the spokesman for the forum, Paul Unongo, was recently quoted by the Punch as saying.

In the last one year, Mr. Tambuwal has not only showed up in person at funeral, marriage and sundry events, he has also received multiple awards, academic and allied recognitions across the country – often known preludes to higher political opportunities. Last year, he was installed the Leadership Newspaper’s Politician of the Year.

On the domestic front, the speaker’s colleagues in the House of Representatives have discreetly rooted for him to join the presidential race when the time comes. Deputy spokesperson, Victor Ogene, came short of fully acknowledging that much recently when he told reporters the speaker was free and qualified to gun for the presidency. Mr. Ogene made it clear that the speaker will receive the support of members if he so decides.

At a birthday event in Abuja city centre mid-May, lawmakers from the chamber openly remarked how it was no secret that Mr. Tambuwal would be leading a presidential ticket deputized by the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola.

“Everyone knows that it is Tambuwal and Fashola,” one senior south west member of the House declared.

As part of that drive, Mr. Tambuwal reportedly met secretly with the national leaders of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Muhammadu Buhari, and the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Ahmed Tinubu, at a private residence in Abuja recently where his (Speaker) political future topped the agenda.

The speaker’s office forcefully denies he ever attended such meeting.

“That’s a blatant lie,” Mr. Imam said. “If the speaker ever wanted to meet with Mr. Buhari, it will be in Kaduna not in Abuja.”

He buttressed that point by explaining the office’s routine of releasing photographs of any meeting the speaker and Mr. Buhari.

“These are the kind of things we try to avoid, so we make sure we do that to show we don’t have anything to hide,” he said.

On the speaker’s frequenting of functions- lately, those organized by the opposition parties- the office said the speaker reserved the right to do so since he was not only the speaker for the Peoples Democratic Party, but one for all Nigerians.

The speaker is also known not to be a favourite of the PDP, and the presidency, as evidenced by his conspicuous absence at the presentation of President Gooluck Jonathan’s scorecard on May 29, leading a presidency source to say that the joke in the presidency is that “the Speaker is an APC man in PDP government,”

Issues ahead

But nearly more than any other consideration, Mr. Tambuwal’s perceived hobnobbing with the All Progressives Congress, APC, a party said to be considering handing him the merger’s presidential ticket if he dumps the PDP, is seen as both strategic and potentially perilous.

While the opposition leaders are said to be pleased with how the speaker steered the House during last year’s fuel subsidy uproar and his penchant for speaking up on national issues, the speaker is also said to be wary of not being ditched after getting tossed into the ring. He is also watchful against resentment from some of the party’s founders.

Osita Okechukwu, a chieftain of APC, lobbed that perception last week, denying claims that the yet-to-be registered party is wooing Mr. Tambuwal for a presidential ticket.

“Consider him for doing what?” Mr. Okechukwu asked. “Is it because he is a beneficiary of the revenge mission against Obasanjo and Jonathan for dumping the zoning policy of PDP? Can that be called achievement?”

“We thought he came to change things. We have since discovered he is still the same. He is part of the crowd.”

He said besides such considerations, the party’s constitution will sure not offer Mr. Tambuwal a slot.

“If he comes to APC he cannot beat Buhari in the north. He is an anti-democrat. His achievement is that he is just like Goodluck Jonathan. Is that what makes him fit for our ticket?”

Even more, some of the association’s chieftains, PREMIUM TIMES understands, fear that conceding the proposed party’s presidential ticket to Mr. Tambuwal might be a big risk as the PDP government may shovel the speaker’s past dirt in the house into the open in a political system where nearly every office holder is certain to have interned dubious records.

Mr. Tambuwal served as the ANPP/Minority Leader and PDP Deputy Whip before becoming Speaker against the PDP zoning policy, which had favoured the South West to produce the number four citizen.

The Speaker and his deputy, Emeka Ihedioha, are believed to be part of the generally perceived inglorious era of the immediate past Speaker, Dimeji Bankole, who is currently standing trial for corruption charges. Mr. Ihedioha served as the Whip while Mr. Tambuwal was his deputy in that era.

Such suspicion is what the speaker spends time reviewing to realize if he stands a chance for the elections, another source said.

Mr. Imam said he could not confirm whether the speaker has received any offer or has been involved in discussions with the APC potentially for the presidential elections. He however said the speaker remains a politician and all politicians have ambitions and he would prefer to “cross the bridge when we get there.”


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  • Salisu_Dan_Gombe

    Tambuwaal must be the APC Presidential Candidate for 2015. We, the born-to-rule Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani will on the basis of sympathy choose any of the following infidels as his inconsequential running mates or Vice President: Osiomole or Fashola or Rochas or Ngige or Amaechi or Bakare. But since Nigeria is our conquered territory I would suggest that we pick any of the following as Tambuwaals running mate or Vice President: Prof Ango Abdullahi, Dr Datti Ahmed, Mallam Shehu Sani, Sultan of Sokoto or Imam Shekau of Boko Haram. No mistakes this time around. We are born-to-rule.

    • Goodluck Patience Jonathan

      Thanks a lot Salisu_Dan_Gombe. This is really great but incomplete. To complete your historic contribution the PDP should give Goodluck Jonathan AUTOMATIC TICKET AND RIG THE ELECTION FOR HIM TO RULE FOR 12 MORE YEARS BECAUSE IT IS OUR OIL, BECAUSE THE LAZY NORTH DEPENDS ON OUR OIL AND THE LOUSY WEST DEPENDS ON OUR OIL. WE WILL CONTINUE TO GIVE THE EAST SOME CRUMBS FROM OUR OIL IN THE FORM OF COORDINATING MINISTER FOR FINANCE AND ECONOMY. GOODLUCK JONATHAN MUST BE AUTOMATICALLY ALLOWED TO RULE FOR 12 YEARS BECAUSE NIGERIA DEPENDS ON OUR OIL

      • South delta nation

        well spoken!!

    • bashwaziri

      Moron, you are just making a fool of yourself. Do you think you are funny? Or do you think inciting senseless comments can get you noticed?

      I can swear your name is not Salisu dan Gombe. You are just an evil paid PDP agent sent to always make comments that would instigate and incite responsible reasonable thinking Nigerians against each other. Wondered how much you are paid to tarnish your sorry miserable life so slow?

      The earlier you wake and grow up, the better for you

      • Ayo Kellany

        bashwaziri people like salisu do not have to get paid to be stupid. Them are born st00pid.

    • South delta nation

      U are just an infidel and will surely join ur stewpid leaders in hell fire where 70 demons will tot,ent u all forever. Foolish northern Muslims Hausa Fulani Mai Nama.

  • Salisu_Dan_Gombe

    It is also important for me to list TAMBUWAALS achievement; such that qualify him as the Presidential Candidate of choice in 2015: 1. He single-handedly subdued the Yorubas, took the post of Speaker zoned to them and made the Yorubas captives of the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani. 2. He boldly desecrated the Christan Sunday for fuel subsidy. 3. He has successfully turned the Nigerian House of Representatives into the House of the Muslim North. 4. He has sponsored and passed many resolutions that belittle and insult the infidel President Goodluck Jonathan to the extent that the President is now so powerless and can be called a sitting lame duck. 5. He does not show any respect to the office or person of the “infidel” President Goodluck Jonathan etc. etc. etc.

    • Goodluck Patience Jonathan

      There are more reasons Goodluck Jonathan must be AUTOMATICALLY BE GIVEN 12 MORE YEARS. (I) HE BROUGHT THE MASTER RIGGER OF NIGERIAN POLITICS MR. FIX IT, ANNENIH FROM THE DEAD, A DYING MAN AND MADE HIM HEAD OF A MAIN ENTRANCE TO NIGERIAN ECONOMY-THE NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY, CAN YOU IMAGINE A CORPSE HEADING AN IMPORTANT PORT FOR THE ECONOMY? GOODLUCK JONATHAN DID THAT FOR THE GREAT MASTER RIGGER ANNENIH . JONATHAN GRANTED AMNESTY TO A CRIMINAL CALLED ALAMIEYESEIGHA WHOSE HOUSE WAS RECENTLY FORFEITED LEGALLY TO THE AMERICAN GOVT IN MARYLAND US, REMEMBER DAN ETETE OF MALIBU OIL? DO YOU KNOW HE IS GOODLUCK JONATHAN’S GOD FATHER? ONE OF THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF GOODLUCK JONATHAN IS THAT HE AND MADAM OIL DIEZANI ALISON-MADUEKE ARE BEHIND THE MALIBU OIL SCANDAL OF THE CRIMINAL AND CONVICT DAN ETETE. GOODLUCK JONATHAN LIKES SUPPORTING CONVICTS AND CRIMINALS SO WE MUST GIVE HIM 12 MORE YEARS AUTOMATICALLY. OUR PRESIDENT’S ACHIEVEMENTS ARE SO MANY WE CANNOT COUNT THEM, BUT HE MUST BE GIVEN 12 MORE YEARS BECAUSE IT IS OUR OIL WHICH IS THE FEEDING BOTTLE OF NIGERIA-FORGET ABOUT THE STUPID COCOA, RUBBER, GROUNDNUT, COFFEE PALM OIL NIGERIA USED TO GROW NIGERIAN ECONOMY FROM 1950S, WE ONLY KNOW TODAY, IT IS OUR OIL TODAY -PERIOD, SO GOODLUCK JONATHAN MUST RULE AUTOMATICALLY WITH RIGGING FOR 12 YEARS BECAUSE OF ALL THESE ACHIEVEMENTS AND OUR OIL.

    • diezaniJonathan

      Salisu_Dan_Gombe, you are so kind. The achievements of Goodluck Jonathan are now legendary. Nigeria is now number 1 in world class education. Our universities are functioning and we are on top, our science and engineering are so great such that we have to ask a foreign company to help us monitor the computers and internet use of Nigerians. Goodluck Jonathan awarded the contract for $40 million but it is officially $60m and we will pocket the balance of $20m because it is OUR OIL MONEY! Our ministers, the wives of govt officials no longer go to western countries for their health. They now go to India but they will soon stop and go to South Africa due to the diligent health policy of Goodluck Jonathan. Jonathan is the transformational president we have been looking for so we under the guidance of God have given him 4 more years automatically! We do this ONLY BECAUSE NA WE GET AM, NA OUR OIL-chikena!

      • Salisu_Dan_Gombe

        @diezaniJonathan: This is a democracy and you are entiltled to have your say. We, the born-to-rule Northern M

        • diezaniJonathan

          salisu_dan_Gombe, thanks a lot!!! we own the oil, and Forward on the Republic of SS and SE, we do not care. IT is OUR OIL and IT OUR TURN. And whether you like it or not as part of the great achievement of Goodluck Jonathan, Mujahid Asari Dokubo is the next Minister of defense because it is OUR OIL-period. We can do anything with our OIL MONEY.

          • Ayo Kellany

            diezani thank you for your comment and reasoning. I wonder as a Nigerian weather people like Salisu are playing dump or they are just out-rightly DUMP.

        • diezaniJonathan

          thanks salisu_dan_Gombe, I am blind and I am almajiri. I know now. Because of my blindness that is why I see Goodluck Jonathan’s monumental achievements such as granting amnesty to criminals such as Alamieyesigha, this is why he and my namesake Madam Oil Diezani Madueke-minister of OUR OIL- are behind Goodluck Jonathan’s god father-another criminal and convict-Dan Etete and the Malibu Oil scandal. See what I mean? Two GEJ godfathers, two convicts, two criminals-one president-FOUR MORE AUTOMATIC YEARS!

      • OLA PEDRO

        look at what mumus like you say after 53 yrs of our freedom, you still have no brains, no sense of history-Nigeria has been blessed with 11 heads of state-list their achievements b4 u attack GEJ for reasons best known to your tribal or regional marks- Nigeria is like a 52 yrs old university that is yet to produce a doctorate degree holder-look at us we blew away over 57 trillion naira from 1959 till date-money from the south south-yet we have no light, water, and roads-and you still have the guts to talk when jonathan is airing his views on national issues? What has been your contribution since 1960? Just a full blown parasite chopping from where u did not sow-what has the south south gained from its membership of the Nigerian state? Nothing! We started at the same time with malaysia-look at where she is today-if we follow the thoughts of people from the oiless zones of the nation, we will discover to our chagrin that the only option left for the country is for us to split–we are one cause of the oil wells in the SS, beyond that we are just a bunch of empty regional clowns-lazy in thought to a fault-I am fulani, you are ibo, he is yoruba-the rest of nigeria are yr subjects-but when told about the need for us to separate-the Wazobians plead for understanding–tambuwal is a crook-a rogue-a shame to the youths of our shaky nation–would the average american embark on such rubbish? The views of the party is supreme-not in Nigeria where we have the likes of Amaechi and tambuwal-behaving like motor pack touts-flouting party order -the party they claim to belong to gave a directive-the post of speaker has been zoned to the south west-he disobeyed the order and went through the back-door to become what he is today via tinunbu and his helpers from the south east–because he is fulani from sokoto-what lessons is he sending to the youths of the country if any-that its right to disobey the laws of the party or the land with impunity-the travails of jonathan did not start today-let us for once compare buharis 2 yrs rule-to that of jonathan u will discvover its the worst-he it was who introduced tuition fees in our universities-not jonathan-if you are fulani, ibo or yoruba in nigeria u are right-if ijaw-no way-so why are we together then?

        • jigsaw

          GEJ did not disobey the zoning to the North if Yaradua did not die would GEJ be opportune to act in the capacity of President before usurping the Northern right of a second tenure, the PDP zoning was dislodged and dislocated by GEJ; since then this country was not only polarised by Ethnic Chauvinism but also by religious dicotomy and for any one to even think of or consider a Muslim/Muslim ticket of Tambuwal and Fashola for any opposition is like making GEJ an undisputeable Presidential champion

        • diezaniJonathan

          ola pedro alias salisu dan gombe alias afam=Mani-kay, this is all I am saying. GEJ has achieved so much in the land we should give him 12 more AUTOMATIC YEARS TO RULE. Dat one no reach? wetin again? Plus THIS IS OUR OIL, NOTHING ANYONE CAN DO, THE CHIEF OIL MAN GOODLUCK JONATHAN SHOULD BE GIVEN 12 YEARS AUTOMATICALLY TO RULE FOREVER. WE DO NOT NEED ANY ELECTION. HE SHOULD JUST STAY THERE. AND IF ANYONE CRIES FOR ANY ELECTION WE “PATRIOTIC” NIGERIANS HOLDING TO THE OIL FEEDING BOTTLE OF THE OIL MAN WILL DO THE GOV JANG NGF ELECTION STYLE AND JUST DECLARE GOODLUCK JONATHAN PRESIDENT-chikena, e don finis be dat. Dont you like that? Why are you annoyed mpitikwelu_na_ola pedro_na_Mani Kay

      • Foresight

        GEJ cannot transform our universities in two years. The U.S.’ Obama cannot do that. UK’s Cameron will not even attempt to do so. Aside from funding, there are other factors involved. He only needs to institute a sustainable policy frame work that will take us there in the nearest future.

    • South delta nation

      Salish Dan gombe, I can see u are delusional and sick in the head. It is the very type of ur person that has given rise to our decision collectively to drive for an independent nation come 2015. Just so u know, it was out of pity and fear of political and physical subjection by the educated and well resourced south that the British allowed late Tafawa Balewa be prime minister. From ur utterances I am dead sure the British would ever bite thier tongues to have ever allowed such a religiously intolerant tribe be part of the oil rich south region. Despite the lazy disposition of the north, u dare have the guts to call president Jonathan an infidel. How dare u? It’s ur types that I personally will singl ur to be beheaded when that willful division of this failed useles contra meant called Nigeria begins. We will take our oil, gas, and solid minerals and leave u all with ur poverty and Nama in the north to suffer. Let me tell u, it’s not only asari dokubo who will take up arms against ur cohorts if Jonathan is resisted from doing his second term in 2015. We will surely be in our millions and we will ground the oil flow to that deserd called north and bring about the division so long awaited. After Jonathan has finished his second term, the igbos will do another 8 years, the middle belt whom are Christians will do another 8 years, the Yoruba will do thier own 8 years, only then will the useless animals that live in ten barren north be allowed to take 4 years. If u guys don’t want then be ready to be forced out of the nation called Nigeria. As for tambuwal, let him continue to dance while the music is still loud. Never estimate the power of a sitting president, when Jonathan comes for his pound of flesh, let the world not beg him for mercy over tambuwal. Bastard nortehrners that will be taught a bitter lesson in 2015. Foolish unbelievers.

    • Niger Boi

      Dan-Gobe or what is ur nomenclature? You are a cow, a cat and a coward. I can see you are set for war and believe me honestly the south is ready for you. We will cut you off from the south and deal with you. Go and tell your leaders that their days are numbered. Bye for now

  • Nemlong_Manchok

    This is interesting. At last Premuim Times have let the cat out of the bag. We now know that Buhari/Tinubu APC will present Aminu Tambuwaal/Raji Fashola (both are Muslims) as their candidates for 2015 Presidential election. Why is it that the born-to-rule Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani must always be at the Head as President; why not the other way round. Is Aminu Tambuwaal more qualified, more experienced, or better educated than Raji Fashola? ==== Why is it that the Muslim North thinks that juveniles like El Rufai, Ribadu, Tambuwaal etc. etc. are fit for Aso Rock.

    • longnem_chokman

      Nemlong_Manchok, that is an interesting question. I am just wondering
      why all the key posts in Nigeria today are from the South-South and
      South East. Are they more qualified that Nigerians from other parts? Why
      must PDP give AUTOMATIC TICKET TO JONATHAN GOODLUCK WHO HIS SOUTH SOUTH
      PEOPLE CLAIM IS REPRESENTING SOUTH SOUTH? IS HE MORE QUALIFIED THAN
      OTHER NIGERIAN CANDIDATES IN PDP SUCH THAT MR. FIX IT ANENIH ASKED THAT
      HE MUST BE GIVEN AUTOMATIC TICKET? See what I mean Manchok?

      • Afam

        Tell us the key post from south east and south south…
        Vice president=North
        Senate president= north
        speaker reps= north
        CBN governor= north
        Education minister= north
        FCT minister= north
        Economic planing minister= north
        economic Adviser= north
        women Affairs minister= north
        water resources minister= north
        information minister=north
        minority leader senate=north
        Transport minister=north
        minister of state finance=north
        minister of state health=north
        steel and mining minister=north
        National security adviser=north
        Chief of defense staff=north
        chief of Air staff=north
        com.general immigration=north
        com.general customs=north
        head of civil service=north
        ETC……
        So tell me what you guys want? Oil minister which you people left the office in 2010 since Tam David west was the only southerner who have held the office since 1964..

        • longnem_chokman

          Just wondering if afam =Nemlong_Manchok=deri=mpitkwelu=Ken_man-=Mani_kay=akpos1=kingsley Kuku=asari dokubo=peter2000 I am loving ALL THESE!!! Caaaaryy GO Republic of SS and SE=FOUR AUTOMATIC YEARS FOR “GOD”LUCK JONATHAN WITHOUT ELECTION A LA ANENIH. AND IF BY MISTAKE THERE IS ELECION AS WE HAD IT IN NGF, WE ARE EXPECTING THE NGF ELECTION EXPERIMENT VERY SOON!!! CAAARY GO

    • jigsaw

      If one is not too old then he is a juvi

  • jigsaw

    Salisu Dan-Gombe & Diezani Johnathan are the same person posing as different persons with a satirical message of North and South, am 99% sure the person posting those comment is not a northern and am also optimistic he is not a muslim but yet i pray for God to redeem the soul of evil hearts that intend to spread hate amongst Nigerians

  • emmanuel

    I can swear that Tambuwal political career is finished, after the Speakership coup on the PDP.
    Meanwhile, ACN for what they are only showed OBJ pepper with Tambuwal but will continue
    to do the Yoruba game.

    All the noise makers in PDP (North or South) bow before their gods (god of corruption) between September and November 2013 to select GEJ.

    Why were the Discos and other PHCN co’s tc were shared to IBB, OBJ, Abdulsalami, Bello, Tinubu and co?

  • emmanuel

    2014 i mean