No Going Back On APC - Wamakko
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State is set to hand over his political empire to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), for supporting Hon. Aminu Tambuwal to become the speaker of the House of Representatives.
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had zoned the speakership to the South-west zone, which presented Hon. Mulikat Adeola for the position. She was defeated by Tambuwal, who enjoyed the support of lawmakers from the opposition party. A source who was at the meeting between Governor Wamakko and the APC leadership a few days ago in Sokoto, told LEADERSHIP Weekend that the governor told the APC delegation that, 'There is no going back on joining the opposition party.'
Wamakko is among the G-7 Governors threatening to decamp from the crises-ridden PDP. The others are Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano).
Speaking on a strict condition of anonymity, the source recalled how the PDP had zoned the speakership to the South-west, but Tambuwal, who is from Sokoto, (North-west) won the coveted seat at the expense of Hon Adeola. 'Governor Wamakko told the APC delegation that there is no going back, that he has made up his mind to decamp to the opposition party for two reasons: the leadership style of (Bamanga) Tukur and to pay back the opposition for the support it gave Tambuwal to become the speaker, despite the position of the party. But for the support of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for Aminu (Tambuwal), there is no way the speakership could have come to Sokoto and as far as Wamakko is concerned, this is payback time for the opposition. And even while others are still speaking with the two sides of their mouths, Wamakko has been telling those who care to listen to him that he has made up his mind never to return to PDP,' the source disclosed.
He further said that against all the permutations and speculation going on, the speaker, Tambuwal, might not go for the presidency whenever Wamakko decamps to the APC, for technical reasons. 'Governor Wamakko has made up his mind that Tambuwal would succeed him, having seen him as the best hand that could continue his good work and Tambuwal is believed to be interested in the office. Although some people are touting Tambuwal's name for the presidency in 2015, but let me tell you, he would rather go for the governorship; that is certain,' he said.
Both Wamakko and Tambuwal were in the defunct ANPP before they defected to PDP through a political alliance that led to Alhaji Shagari's emergence as deputy governor.
Meanwhile, the APC has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prosecute the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship candidate for Anambra State, Mr. Willie Obiano, following the revelation that he engaged in multiple voter's registration.
In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its interim national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC said Obiano's multiple registration provides the best test case for INEC to convince Nigerians that it is willing and able to discourage multiple voters registration, by making those who engage in it to face the wrath of the law. ''Prosecuting Obiano will also show that INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega was not just bluffing when he recently called for the establishment of an electoral offences tribunal before the 2015 general elections, to help restore sanity to the country's electoral process and deter people from committing electoral offences,'' APC said.
APC said it is important for INEC to ensure that Obiano is made to face the law, against the backdrop of the statement credited to Prof. Jega that the Commission had detected 93,526 multiple registration cases in Anambra State ahead of the November 16 governorship poll. ''One of Obiano's two voter's registration cards was issued on August 21, 2013 with VIN number 90F5B12B88377091121, while the second was issued on September 3, 2013 with VIN number 90F5B15E7D378200332. Both gave his address as No. 1, Chief Willie Obiano Street, Otuocha and showed he was born on 08-08-1955,' APC said.
Also, the APC has said it is the only party that has an agenda for the teeming youths in the country. At a Town Hall meeting of the APC Youth Forum held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, some leaders of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Hassan Lawan and Malam Nasir el-Rufai, said the opposition party would give the youth a new beginning. Odigie-Oyegun said the youths should be ready to make sacrifices before they could be taken seriously by the party. He reminded them that most of the people occupying positions of authority in the country today were youths. 'You should blame yourselves if you are not relevant or being treated well in the country. I agree with the position of my good friend, Hassan Lawan, that APC is a good platform for the youths in this country to showcase themselves. No one would push you away. And if you look at the country, who are the leaders of today? It is the youth, we believe in you and we would encourage our youths to realise their potential.'
After the event, the communication director of the forum, Usman Abubakar Sidiq said, 'I was impressed with the meeting, the presence of some APC chieftains and the outcome. This is an indication that APC believes in us and we would not let them down. We have the potential and we believe in the party and it is our hope that they would not ignore us when it matters most.'
Meanwhile, former national chairman of the defunct ANPP, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, at a special dinner organised by the Progressive Governors in Abuja during the week, said, 'My dear brothers and sisters, our dear country, a land of so much promise is now in trouble. There is so much insecurity, that no one can sleep with both eyes closed. Nigeria is not at war, yet she is not at peace. Bombs are thrown even in places of worship. Nigeria is rich and yet Nigerians are poor. The number of the poor continues to increase. As a result of the poor state of our hospitals, the sick among us go to hospitals abroad to receive medical treatment. This has eroded our national pride as just last month, within a single month, two of our prominent sons died in foreign countries while seeking medical attention.
'Our schools are no longer what they used to be, as most of our university students only know when they matriculate, but can no longer accurately predict when they will graduate. Our youths, who should be the pride of our nation, roam the streets looking for non-existent jobs. Our basic infrastructure had suffered neglect and now is in decay. It is sad that Nigeria is now divided along ethnic and religious lines, more than she has ever been.'