The Governor of Sokoto State
Barrister Aminu Waziri Tambuwal was born into the religious and aristocratic family of Wazirin Tambuwal on 10th January 1966. He started early education, like all Muslim children, at a very early age. He was then enrolled into Tambuwal Primary School in 1972. At completion of Primary School in 1979, young Aminu Waziri was admitted into Government Teachers College Dogondaji where he studied for five years and completed in 1984 with Grade II Teachersâ€™ Certificate. This had prepared him for teaching at primary school where most of his peers chose to remain .but Aminu was far ahead of his contemporaries. So he decided to pursue post secondary education without waiting to look for paid job at that level.
He thus sought for and got admission into the prestigious Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto in 1984 for a Bachelor of law Degree in Islamic and common Law. He successfully completed his study in 1991. From the Faculty of Law of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal proceeded to the Nigeria Law School, Lagos in 1992 where he successfully completed the one year course and was called to the Nigerian Bar in the same year.
Aminu Waziriâ€™s first encounter with elective post was in 1997 when he was elected by the Nigerian Bar Association, as Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Sokoto Chapter of the Association. His performance at the state level was recognised and appreciated at the National level. He was to serve as the Assistant National Financial Secretary, first national Secretary and then Secretary of the Human Rights Committee of the Association from 1998 to 2002.
A devote, loyal and hardworking Legal Officer, Barrister Aminu Waziri Tambuwal served as personal Assistant to Senator Abdallah Wali when the latter was Senator representing Sokoto South Senatorial District at the fourth Senate. Concerned for the welfare of his people and the need for better representation of their interests at the National Assembly, Aminu offered himself for election under the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) to the people of Tambuwal/Kebbe Federal Constituency in 2003 and got massive support by the people thus beginning his long stay and meritorious service into the House of Representatives. Even though a first termer, he became the minority leader of the House of Representatives in 2004. This prepared him very well for struggle to entrench lasting democratic culture in the national Assembly and the nation in general. He again contested for the same post in 2007 and again his people stood by him and returned him to the lower chamber of the national Assembly this time under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was, therefore, appointed Deputy Chief Whiff of the house in recognition of his vast legislative experience and leadership qualities.
Aminu Waziri Tambuwal re-contested for the same position in 2011 and again his people of Tambuwal and Kebbe mandated him to represent them at the House of Representatives. As third termer and ranking member of the House, Tambuwal had by this time became unarguably one of the most experienced Members of the seventh Assembly. This made him a darling of his colleagues who, in appreciation of his charisma, legal and legislative experience, coupled with his disciplined and humble personality, decided to elect him as the Speaker of the Seventh Assembly against the zoning arrangement of the ruling party, the PDP. His emergence as Speaker on 6th June 2011, more than anything else, punched the early hole in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party which ultimately led to its losing the leadership of country after 16 consecutive years at the helm of the affairs of the Nation. He led the House of Representatives using the inborn leadership traits he inherited from his forebears, the descendants of the famous 19th Century scholar and Jihadist, Sheikh Usman Danfodiyo, through his son, Malam Buhari Dan Shehu. He was able to unite the various contending forces in the House through consultation, good leadership, transparent and prudent management as well as open door policy. His term as Speaker was devoid of rancour, conflict and acrimony that characterised the leadership of his processors. A system of administration which carried all Members along endeared him to his colleagues who stood by him and at several times gave him their votes of confidence as indication of their support of his leadership style.
From the time he was called to the Nigeria bar, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, like the proverbial gold fish, had no hiding place. He has at various times been shouldered with responsibilities which he had discharged successfully. He was the leader of the Nigerian delegation to the African, Caribbean, Pacific and European Joint Parliamentary Assembly. He also led the Federal Government team to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which negotiated the case of the ban on issuance of visa to Nigerian female pilgrims which he successfully resolved in favour of the country.
Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal is a member of many professional Parliamentary and International bodies. He is member of the International Bar Association, member Nigeria Bar Association and member national executive committee of the NBA. He is also an Alumnus of many universities and international educational institutions which include Harvard University, USA, Oxford University, Stanford Graduate school of Business, USA, Tulane University, USA, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Nigeria Law School and was the regional representative of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. He also at various times served as Organising Secretary and Legal Adviser of political parties. His position as a Lawyer, Legislator and Speaker of the House of Representatives was appreciated and recognised when he was appointed into the highest professional policy making body of the Nigeria Legal profession with his appointment to the Body of Benchers.
His charming and disarming personality and excellent performance in office drew attention of all and sundry to Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Many have bestowed on him awards and titles as a token of their appreciation for services he selflessly rendered to his father land. He holds the National Honour of Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) conferred on him by the President, Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria. The President General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto, Alh Muhammad Saâ€™adu Abubakar, has also conferred a traditional title of Mutawallen Sokoto on Barrister Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as an indication of the Caliphateâ€™s satisfaction with the performance of its worthy envoy to the nation in particular and the world in general.
The turbanning ceremony which drew the big shots, the who is who and the movers and shakers of Nigerian politics and economy was performed on 27th September 2014 at the Sultanâ€™s Palace in Sokoto. The Sultanâ€™s younger brother in the hierarchy of Sokoto Caliphate and second most important Emir in the Caliphate, the Emir of Gwandu, in Kebbi state also conferred Gwandu leadership award on Alh. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. Following his epic victory in the House of Representatives election of Speaker when he defeated the Federal Governmentâ€™s nominee for the post, an influential National Newspaper, The Leadership, nominated him and conferred on him an award as the politician of the year 2011 and the Sun newspaper gave him man of the year in 2012.
Barrister Aminu Waziri is also a recipient of honorary Doctorate Degrees conferred on him by many Universities in the country. His Alma Mata, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, conferred on him honorary doctorate Degree in Law in December 2012, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, also conferred a Doctorate Degree in law on him. This was followed by the conferment of another Doctorate Degree on him by the Godfrey Okoye University, Ugwuoma-Nike, in December 2015.
Hon. Aminu Tambuwal has received many awards from Governmental and non Governmental Organisations in and outside Nigeria in recognition of his service to humanity. His own State Government of Sokoto gave him the Sokoto State merit award in 2012, Crans Montano Forum and South-South Cooperation, Brussels, gave him Prise Foundation Award in 2013 and he also received Zikâ€™s Leadership award on public service.
A member of the traditional institution, Tambuwal is a holder of many traditional titles conferred on him by traditional rulers across the length and breadth of Nigeria. These include Osagie of Opoji Kingdom, Edo state, Obong Ufan of Akwa Ibom, Udonyi Oro of Oran Nation, also in Akwa Ibom, Babugunwa of Elawe EKiti in Ekiti state, Maidawakin Gashaka in Taraba state and Garkuwan Lafiagi conferred on him by the Emir of Lafiagi in Niger State.
An astute politician, master tactician, Hon. Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal did not jump into the All Progressives Party (APC) when many of his colleagues decided to cross carpet into the new Party. He also refused pressure to declare the seats of defected members vacant insisting it was the duty of Courts to interpret that action. On 28th October 2014 after the Plenary of the House of Representatives, however, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal decided to bid PDP farewell and declared his membership of the new Party, the APC. This was another master stroke that helped to break the backbone of the PDP. This singular action by Tambuwal was itself historic because it had for the first time in the democratic experiences of Nigeria, given the position of Speaker, House of Representatives to the opposition. It was a serious blow to the ruling PDP.
In response to the demands by the people of Sokoto State for Hon. Aminu Tambuwal to come back home and contest the governorship position of the State he humbly obliged and contested both the primaries of the APC and the April 2015 gubernatorial election and won in each with wide merging. He was sworn-in as the 16th Governor of Sokoto State since its creation in 1967 and the 6th democratically elected on 29th May 2015.
Since assumption of office as the Governor of Sokoto State, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR (Mutawallen Sokoto) has left no stone unturned in his determination to diversify the Stateâ€™s economy away from the oil to the other that is more sustainable. His attention is focused towards resuscitating agriculture, industries, small and medium scale enterprises and solid minerals sector. The state government has declared state of Emergency on Education with a view to reinvigorating the sector and make the state’s educational institutions up to date and their products able to compete favourably with their peers in all national examinations.
The State would benefit from Tambuwalâ€™s enormous national and international connections in its struggle to develop economically. Already the State government under Tambuwalâ€™s leadership has signed memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with a number of companies and organisations wishing to invest in the state. These include Erisoco Nigeria Limited for the establishment of Tomato processing company in the State, UNIDO-IPO for the establishment of Tannery to process the enormous leather products in the state, Government of Henan province of the Peoples Republic of China on various aspects of Agriculture etc. The State Government has also brought into Sokoto the bank of Industry to provide facilities to business community in the State wishing to establish industries in the state. The State Government has entered into agreement with the Bank to the tune of Two Billion Naira (N2, 000,000,000) for the establishment of small and medium scale enterprises in the State. A Small and medium scale Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDA) has been established by the State Government to boost Small and medium scale enterprises in the State.
To support Education, especially that of the girl-child in the state, Barr. Aminuâ€™s Administration has signed an MOU with the United Nations children fund (UNICEF) worth Two Billion Naira. Many more projects are coming up with the enactment of bills for the establishment of State Commodity Boards.
Sokoto is thus lucky to have a lawyer of repute, a former three times member of the house of representatives, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) holder of many traditional titles, holder of honorary Doctorate Degrees from many Universities in the country, an ace administrator and manager of human and material resources, a fine gentleman and a humble but astute politician in the person of Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal CFR (Mutawallen Sokoto, Garkuwan Lafiagi) as its sixth democratically elected Governor.
LEAVING THE RULING APC
It is these pedigree and antecedents that in 2015, motivated Aminu Waziri to leave the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, on which platform he was elected Federal House Speaker to the opposition All Progressives Congress. He was motivated to make such move that was described as “bold and courageous” by APC chieftain, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, by that same nationalist spirit that has guided his politics from inception.
For Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, privileges and comfort are small prices to pay for the higher principles of national unity,survival and progress. He thus,Jeopardized his position as number four citizen to defy a ruling party that has all largesse to extend for loyalty and wrath to visit for dissention by supported the emergence of APC’s Muhammadu Buhari as President.
That support was however, based on the promise of change that is positive for Nigeria. For Aminu Waziri, partisan choice is a function of the need to uphold the principles of progress of the citizens,freedom and rule of law.
Sadly however, the principles upon which the coalition of 2015 was formed to produce the APC leadership have all been negated. While the lives and property of Nigerians are being lost in the worst security situation they have witnessed, the worst economic indices are bringing upon the masses,the greatest hardships they have experienced. The situation is compounded by the posture of impunity and unabashed disregard for the rule of law by the APC government.
Aminu Waziri is so soon again and regrettably so,constrained by similar circumstances to those of 2015 to abandon the APC in a continuing search for a platform that can guarantee for citizens those rights and entitlements enshrined in the laws of the land. Unfolding events in the opposition PDP indicate a shift in attitude and posture within the party and a effort to learn from the bitter circumstances of the defeat of 2015. Aminu Waziri is encouraged by these events to rejoin the People’s Democratic Party.
ASPIRATION FOR PRESIDENCY
The philosophy of governance of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has been clearly illustrated by his style of leadership through his democratic participation. His service in the National Assembly was a lesson in partnership, teamwork and due process. His term as Speaker of the House of Representatives exhibited energy and upheld inclusiveness, unity across all divides and unity of purpose for progress in the service of Nigerians. These are features inherent in his tenure as Governor of Sokoto State. And they are qualities Aminu Waziri aspires to bring to bare if given the mandate to lead Nigeria