House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal would have had his fingers burnt if he had listened to the entreaties of some party leaders and had entered the All Progressives Congress presidential race as he initially made to do. But the Speaker listened to his heart and not his head. Some House of Representatives members had procured the party’s expression of interest and presidential nomination forms for him. He accepted the forms, promising that he would study it and continue his consultations on his political future. However, his body language had shown that he would like to throw his hat into the presidential ring. His decision to want to enter the already-charged APC presidential race had caused quite a few stir in the party. While leading aspirants of the party like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said tongue-in-cheeks that Tambuwal’s move was a welcome development, in the camp of former Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, such a move was bad news. Those urging Tambuwal to enter the race were allegedly the same party leaders believed to be backing the former Head of State. In the end, however, good reason prevailed and Tambuwal beat a retreat from the race. How nice!
His joining the presidential race would have meant he failed to learn from history, from the fate that befell former EFCC Chairman Mallam Nuhu Ribadu who was pressured to join the 2011 presidential race as the then Action Congress of Nigeria candidate only for the same people who cheered him on to dump him when it mattered most. Besides, what’s Tambuwal’s problem? His political profile is rising and age is on his side. He can now devote his time for the governorship ambition in his Sokoto homestate and of course his case in court to stop the Peoples Democratic Party from making him lose his office and seat after defecting to APC. Meanwhile, the way and manner Speaker Tambuwal announced his decision to quit the race was interesting. He said in a statement on Tuesday night that he was suspending the idea because of concern for some party leaders and as a sacrifice for cohesion and unity within APC. He said in part in his speech: “I have carefully considered the the concerns expressed by some of our leaders, whom I deeply respect and whose support and counsel I enjoy, to the effect that my entry into the presidential race at this point may necessitate having to rework some equations on the political chessboard of the party. Having consulted widely, taking into consideration the concerns of some elders of the party, I have decided to suspend my participation in the presidential contest for now. I have done so as a sacrifice for the cohesion and unity of the APC. I am suspending my participation in the presidential race for now because I do not have any inordinate ambition to occupy any office. Nigeria is a country too great to sacrifice on the altar of partisan politics and personal ambition. What anyone becomes in life is exclusively in the hands of God. Only God gives power to whoever he pleases”.