On January 10, 2017, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, celebrated his 51st birthday. Peter Uzoho examines the achievements of this action governor
Indeed, there is much to celebrate as Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on January 10, 2017, marked his 51st birthday. Whether birthday party was organised on this great day or not, it would certainly not stop encomiums from pouring on him as a great achiever.
In less than two years of his ascendance to the most exalted political position in the state, Tambuwal, through his purposeful and responsive leadership, has transformed the Caliphate to a cynosure of all eyes. Since May 29, 2015, when he came on board as the executive governor of the state, he has vigorously pursued the business of governance with all his God-given endowment. Tambuwal who has his eyes fixed on the administration’s set out targets, has accelerated the pace of development in the hitherto underdeveloped state.
Within a short period of time, he has made enormous impact and has changed the face of the state. In the civil service sector, he has provided a home renovation loan to 1,000 civil servants in the state, and has laid the foundation for Workers’ Estate. Tambuwal has also settled the payment of gratuities for 1,902 retirees. The governor has recruited over 500 unemployed citizens into the state civil service with different qualifications.
In his radical approach towards giving compulsory education to children in the state, he has launched the policy of criminalising parent’s refusal to send children to school; has recruited 500 teachers to tackle the shortfall in personnel in public secondary schools in the state. Tambuwal has also ordered immediate payment of counterpart funding for training of primary school teachers whose services will be employed after the completion of the training. As an ardent believer in the oneness of the country, he prohibited the discrepancy in the payment of school fees between indigenes and non-indigenes in all public schools in Sokoto.
The governor equally signed an MOU with the Usman Dan Fodio University for the training of nurses and midwives with the intent to deploy them to all parts of the state. He offered automatic employment for all Sokoto indigenes who study health related courses in schools. He has facilitated the increment in allowances of itinerant health workers in the state; flagged off the distribution of free life-saving drugs to pregnant women and nursing mothers who gave birth in public hospitals and private healthcare centres under government supervision in the rural areas.
To help industrialise the state, the governor has concluded plans to set up a fertiliser plant in the state, with a capacity of producing 100,000 tons of fertiliser and creating 5,000 job opportunities to the state indigenes.
Born on January 10, 1966 in Tambuwal Village in Sokoto State to Waziri Tambuwal, he attended Tambuwal Primary School, Tambuwal, Sokoto State, where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1979; and Government Teachers’ College, Dogon-Daji, where he obtained the Teachers Grade 11 Certificate in 1984. He then proceeded to Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, where he studied Law, graduating with an LLB (Hons) degree in 1991. He completed his one-year compulsory legal studies at the Nigerian Law School; Lagos obtained his BL and was called to the Bar in 1992.
Besides studying for his law degree, he has also attended several courses abroad, among which are the following: Telecoms Regulatory Master Class–Bath UK, 2004; Lawmaking for the Communications Sectors –BMIT, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2004; Regulating a Competitive Industry-UK, Brussels, 2005; Tulane University – International Legislative Drafting, 2005; Stanford Graduate School of Business – Influence and Negotiation, 2008 and KSG Harvard – Infrastructure in Market Economy, 200
Among his professional affiliations, Tambuwal has been a very active member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) over the years. He started off as Public Relations Officer of the NBA, Sokoto State chapter between 1996 and 1997. He was a member of the Constitution Review Committee of the NBA (1997–1998). He was the Sokoto branch Secretary of the Association (1997–1998) and Assistant National Financial Secretary of the NBA (1998–2000)
From 2000 and 2002, he was the 1st Assistant National Secretary of the association. He is also a member of the Body of Benchers, Nigeria; International Bar Association, and the American Bar Association among others. Tambuwal started learning the legislative ropes from 1999 to 2000, while working as Personal Assistant on Legislative Affairs to Senator Abdullahi Wali, the then Senate Leader.
In 2003, he decided to run for a legislative seat as representative of the Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency. He was elected into the House of Representatives on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Few months to the 2007 general elections, he defected to the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), alongside the former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa. But when the DPP denied return tickets to former ANPP legislators, Tambuwal swung back to the ANPP, where he eventually succeeded in picking up a ticket for the election.
But then again, when the ANPP governorship candidate for Sokoto State in the 2007 election, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko dumped the party for the PDP, Tambuwal also followed suit.
While in the House, he held several offices. In 2005, he was the Minority Leader of the House until he defected to the PDP. Upon his re-election to the House in 2007, he was also elected the Deputy Chief Whip. He was elected as Speaker between June 2011 and June 2015. At various times, he has been a member of several committees including the House Committees on Rules and Business, Communications, Judiciary, Inter-Parliamentary and Water Resources. He was also a member of the House Ad hoc Committee on Constitution Review.
He was chairman of the Ad hoc committee that reviewed the report of the controversial power probe committee headed by Ndudi Elumelu; Chairman, House Sub-Committee on the Bill for an Act to Amend the Land Use Act, and acting chairman, House Committee on Power.
He was leader of the Nigerian delegation to African, Caribbean, Pacific and European Union Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU) and served as Vice-Chairman, Economic Committee ACP-EU, held in Prague, Czech Republic in April 2009.
On 28 October 2014, Tambuwal formally defected from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to the opposition All Progressive Congress. In April 11, 2015, Tambuwal contested and won the governorship election of Sokoto State. He was inaugurated on 29 May 2015.Refreshingly, he set out to differ by coming up with genuine, insightful and visionary ideas to turn around, not only the day to day course of life, but initiatives that would also alter the face of the society.
To celebrate this rare leader, people from within and outside the state have been sending their congratulatory messages to him not as charity but as a reward of his patriotic service to the state and nation.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, in a congratulatory message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Adamu Hassan, described Tambuwal as a patriotic and courageous leader, saying “over the years, you have exhibited uncommon dexterity and high sense of patriotism in the discharge of your duties while serving at different leadership levels in the National Assembly, the NBA and now in your beloved state of Sokoto.
“As your successor and former colleague, I have noted with admiration the exceptional records of achievements and indelible footprints you have left behind as a member, minority leader, Deputy Chief Whip and Speaker.
“I salute your indomitable courage, unequivocal commitment and invaluable contributions to the independence and stability of the legislature.
“You are a source of inspiration and a shining example for all of us and indeed the younger generation.
”I salute your uncommon courage and unequivocal commitment and contributions to the independence and stability of the legislature,” he said.