If a bird at hand is worth many in the bush, why then will a man burn his bridges and set sail on a course that may well end in his doom? Why will a man ditch his comfort zone in search of a throne that may be beyond his reach? In a game marked by intrigues and uncertainties, is it wise to put one’s eggs in one single basket?
He has everything going for him. A position that is the envy of many, a party firmly under his control, a free ticket to contest and retain his seat and the support of majority of his people. He had it all but he wants more. He has always wanted more. He is not the type to be content with just being that guy. He became a Federal lawmaker at 37 and before long, he became the minority leader and then the deputy whip. And just when you think he’d be content, he aimed even higher and against all odds emerged the Speaker contrary to the wishes and dictates of his party.
Tambuwal’s rise to prominence is a product of relentless pursuit for the higher prize. The man is undoubtedly capable. As Speaker, he brought grace and panache to a seat that had become synonymous with ignominy. He elevated the House to an independent non partisan institution with the capacity to discharge its functions without external influence. The 7th Assembly under his watch set an agenda and went about it with singleness of mind. He fought impunity and stood his ground.
When he dumped the party that gave him a ticket and on whose strength he rose to become the first amongst equals, all hell was let loose but he kept a calm demeanor and never lost that his signature smile. His election as Governor was more of a coronation. He had earned the respect of his peers and the admiration of the masses. He didn’t have to break too much sweat, he simply latched on the growing clamor for change on rode on its back to become governor.
There’s a certain restlessness to Tambuwal, a hint of rebellion and activism that defines his politics. He started from ANPP and went to DPP only to stay for a while before pitching his tent with the PDP. Even as speaker under PDP he will still leave for the APC. But to his credit, he has always identified with the masses. He has never failed to speak against injustice and is never known to place political convenience against the common good of the people. He’s not the kind of man that’ll be comfortable when things go wrong neither is he the type of politician to place regional interest over the overall good of the nation.
At 52, Tambuwal represents the new order. He has the strength of age and the creativity of mind that comes with education. He equally has the strength of character and capacity that comes with taking charge of tough tasks. As a Speaker and now a Chief executive, Tambuwal has cut his teeth in positions that are reserved for the politically mature. He brings to the race a clean slate untainted with questionable dealings, ethnic or religious bias and most importantly a promise of new ideas driven by the new crop of leaders.
If PDP wants to make a statement disclosing its intent to start afresh, to correct the ills of the past and to give Nigerians a candidate that many can identify with, then Tambuwal is one of such candidates. You can fault Atiku on character, you can doubt Kwakwanso’s sincerity, you can quarrel with Lamido’s age and even question Saraki’s integrity but with a Tambuwal, the ruling party will have to search hard for a dent. He may not have the cult following of Buhari but he can rally votes from every region in the country, a feat Buhari’s divisive rhetoric has made impossible for the APC.