When I read the report in one national daily last week to the effect that there were pressures on House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal aka AWT to join the 2015 presidential race, I laughed. I laughed because the idea, orchestrated by some people close to the centre of power in Abuja, had been on since November last year and it was plainly to draw Tambuwal into the fray and then leave him in the lurch. And Tambuwal, a smart and suave young man, knows this so well as I do. I know he won’t fall for it. Don’t get me wrong; AWT is eminently qualified for the presidency. Apart from his academic attainment, he has demonstrated good leadership in the way and manner he has been running the affairs of the House and can always ride on that any day for political ascendancy.
But if you ask me, I would say rather than vie for the presidency, why not the governorship? And I think the genuine moves that are on really are to get Tambuwal to enter the race for the governorship of his Sokoto home state, come 2015. For one, AWT is sufficiently on the ground in Sokoto and he is close to the powers that be - Governor Aliyu Wamakko and the Sultanate. He is from the same political tendency in the state as Wamakko. Secondly, I understand those close to both the governor and Speaker Tambuwal have been working surreptitiously to bring this plan to fruition for some time now. Virtually all the campaign machinery of Wamakko has been moved behind Tambuwal for the governorship project. Indeed, the singsong on Sokoto streets now is - Daga Aluu, Sai Aminu Waziri, which translates thus -After Aluu, as Wamakko is called in the state, it’s Aminu Waziri, as Tambuwal is addressed in Sokoto.
Is Jonathan, Obasanjo Altercation Over?
Former President Obasanjo’s surprise appearance at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa last Sunday was widely reported in the media. During the visit the former president worshipped with President Jonathan at the Aso Villa chapel he created when he was in office. He also read the second lesson of the service and led a prayer session. After all that, he followed the president to his official residence where they had a lunch meeting together. This hasn’t happened between the two in a long while. There have been open exchanges between them over the government’s handling of the Boko Haram insurgency. Only on Friday the former president threw another tirade at Jonathan, saying he (the president) should be blamed for the insecurity in the land. And one of the president’s aides, Ahmed Gulag, also followed with a riposte a day after.
Therefore some have interpreted that visit and the lunch Obasanjo had with Jonathan to mean a cessation of hostilities between them. Peoples Democratic Party Chairman Bamanga Tukur is elated at the development and believes the problems between the two leaders are over. I have argued on this page before that I would not think Obasanjo’s incessant criticisms of Jonathan meant he would have nothing to do with the president, even over the matter of 2015, as the Jonathan presidency is, to a large extent, his creation and it looks to me it’s in his enlightened self-interest to back Jonathan again in 2015. I do not think also the president’s lunch Obasanjo devoured meant he won’t criticise Jonathan again. Those who think that way should perish the thought. Obasanjo is a wily old man. Recall how Obasanjo ate former PDP Chairman Audu Ogbe’s lunch of pounded yam and egusi soup. And after the sumptuous meal, he cleared his throat and forcibly demanded Ogbe’s resignation letter.
THISDAY Bombing: Why Secret Trial?
I don’t understand the point being made by the prosecution (Federal Government) in rooting for the secret trial of Mustapha Umar, the man who allegedly masterminded the bombing of THISDAY office. I just can’t get it. Are other persons held for alleged terror activities being tried in camera? Why should this one be different? Yes, there will be intense media interest in the trial as it was the first direct assault on the media since the Boko Haram insurgency began in the land. The same man was also accused of bombing The Sun and Moment offices in Kaduna.
But thank God the trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, has blocked the move. The judge said the media could not be barred from the proceedings because the matter was of public interest. The prosecution counsel, Mr. Simon Labaran, had at the resumed hearing in the trial last Tuesday moved an oral application for a closed-door trial. According to him, the application is to protect the interest of the public and witnesses in the trial. The defence counsel did not object to the application. Why the move for a secret trial? Why?
Re: Omisore’s Academic Attainment
Following the short piece I did last week on the academic Doctor of Philosophy Senator Iyiola Omisore bagged from the prestigious International School of Management, Paris, France, and the job offer as a visiting lecturer at Bluestar (Blue-Sky) University in Mongolia, the former senator and Ife high chief has drawn my attention to what he called a factual error in the piece. He sent a text message to my phone last Saturday the publication came out, saying thus: “Tunde my brother, I read your piece on me today and want to let you know of a factual mix-up. I got visiting lecturership offer at Blue-Sky University not Bluestar University. Please note. To God be the glory.”