By Issa Itopa Lucky
It is not rumour that Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal will want to run again for Office of President in 2023. For the purpose of perspective, Tambuwal came second in the PDP presidential primary election of October 2018. That was in fact, few weeks after he had returned to the main opposition party, PDP, having decamped to the APC earlier in the build up to the 2015 presidential election.
Tambuwal is young relatively and he is in his second term presently as Governor. Before now, he was Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Howbeit, the fact is, it is not clear if Tambuwal is running of his own self-sent volition or if his friend and counterpart, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; is the factor behind the scene, pushing him.
One wonders if Tambuwal is a “stooge” of Wike or if Tambuwal is indeed functioning in his own personal conviction to want to rule Nigeria.
The name “Wike” is not new to Nigeria’s present-day democracy. Wike has been a loud voice of the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but he also has been a problem also to the party, and consequently to the perception one would likely have about Tambuwal.
Wike may front as a politician who is sincere to a fault but the truth is that Wike has misfired on various occasions, as a politician.
Most times he attacks his party members including the leadership of his party. Literally he seems to be someone who would love to boss people around. This is a certainty the Northern population will never accept on themselves, especially from a non-Northerner. Surely, they will not be able to bow to Wike and they will not be willing to be bossed around by anybody especially a Southerner.
Many, who may fancy Tambuwal, may however not want to support his presidential campaign as many believe that Tambuwal is merely a front for a “Wike leadership” or a Wike political fiefdom.
Wike literally speaks with reckless abandon. He sounds like a bully. His influence is therefore rubbing off negatively on the image of his ally, Tambuwal who is nursing a presidential ambition ahead of 2023.
For Tambuwal’s presidential ambition to really get serious on positive terms, he needs to dissociate himself away from the person of Wike.
Wike himself knows he lacks the decorum needed of a leader when he speaks, especially as a politician. It is possible that Tambuwal could be relying on Wike for financial support but surely not for anything else as Wike has not conducted himself in a way that shows he can be a rallying force that Tambuwal needs even if it is to rally votes in any State outside of Rivers even if merely within South-South Nigeria only.
Tambuwal needs Wike only financially because Sokoto that Tambuwal governs is obviously a poor State, it is too poor for Tambuwal to rely on its resources to finance his presidential campaign to any sufficient extent, hence the need for him to aside the fact of mere friendship, rely on Wike who is expected to deploy Rivers money to support his (Tambuwal) campaign.
Tambuwal is a good presidential sell but his presidential campaign will be difficult to buy as far as he remains an ally of Wike. The Wike factor in Tambuwal’s run for presidency ahead of 2023, is a bad omen for Tambuwal’s campaign unless Wike begins to watch the way he speaks, to learn to begin to speak with decorum.
For Wike to be a positive factor in Tambuwal’s campaign, Wike must begin to speak with decorum and with regard for fellow party members, as against speaking like a bully. Be it as it may, the 2023 polls are closeby already with less than two years ahead; it may be too late for Wike to change his pattern of utterances which Nigerians already know him (Wike) for.
Any way one looks at the facts, it is indeed unfortunate that Wike has not been able to tailor his words especially in ways that ought to make him seem like a rallying point in as much as politics, even national politics, is concerned.
In as much as national politics is concerned, nobody especially in the North will surrender to a bully. Northerners have never been known to be who can be bullied.
As it stands, the decision is Tambuwal’s to make, whether to keep Wike along with his pattern of unfortunate and unstatesmanlike utterances and whether to run a campaign that will be independent of him.
A Tambuwal presidential campaign that will be independent of any whatsoever Wike attachment will do much good for Tambuwal.
Wike’s various utterances are today enough for anybody he backs for an election in 2023, to lose, except if it is a Rivers-based election where of course as Governor, he wields a lot of influence till May 2023 when his tenure as Governor of Rivers State is due; but anything outside Rivers State, Wike has failed ahead and by implication, to via his utterances, get his popularity right, hence he has been popular for the wrong political reasons, in as much as utterances are concerned, hence Tambuwal’s 2023 presidential campaign needs to keep Wike away from identifying with it in any way that could show Wike supporting it, if Tambuwal’s 2023 presidential campaign shall indeed go far in terms of success.