This is a rejoinder to an article: “Tambuwal’s loans and the rest of us” written by one Mansur Ibrahim Rigasa and published in the Blueprint and Daily Trust of February 13, 2020. Beside the crass ignorance on the prevailing political, social and economic realities in Sokoto under Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the writer comes across as a fake and cowardly character by resorting to the use of a pseudonym and false address. Common! An Aminu Ibrahim in far away Rigasa, a sprawling, satellite community of Kaduna? It would have been more like it, if he had been a Dahiru from Yabo, or, an Aminu from Wurno or, Abdullahi from Sokoto metropolis.
The said article opened by echoing the worn out, self-delusory opinion of the rump of a defeated, dying clan of political spent forces that, Governor Tambuwal does not enjoy popular support amongst the people. Rigasa said: “This growing disenchantment, especially on the part of the Sokoto electorate stemmed from the near-total lack of tangible development projects”. To him, his so-called or, self-styled “keen observers” are wondering, “where is (sic) Sokoto’s money going in the last five years?”
One wonders if those who believe or even think that Tambuwal is not popular are of sound minds and clear sighted and, therefore, capable of intelligent, objective perceptions. Why, for instance, did paymasters of “Rigasa” go for Tambuwal as the APC gubernatorial candidate instead of one of their own in 2015? The simple answer is that he had, over and above any of them, the political clout, reach and popularity to secure victory for the party in view of the calibre of the main opposition candidate, Senator Abdallah Wali, of the PDP. If it was a favour, I dare say that, it was Aminu Tambuwal who did the Sokoto APC a favour by flying its flag in 2015 and not the other way.
In 2019, they deluded themselves into believing that they had done sufficient damage and sabotage as fifth communists from within, for them to beat him in electoral contest and test of popularity. Tambuwal went on yet to trounce them, beating them silly and giving them bloodied nose to the bargain! That was even in the face of the unabashed, crude and naked monumental rigging and all sorts of other electoral heists.
The recently conducted rerun and by- elections into the state and federal legislative houses have further reinforced the political superiority of Tambuwal over the rumps of sulking, withering and fast fading politicians or, self-styled political godfathers of yesteryears. As we look forward to future encounters between them and Tambuwal, the doubting Thomases would do well to stop playing the delusionary and suicidal gimmick of the ostrich. By hiding their heads in the sand, oblivious of their foes, they are only deceiving themselves that they’re safe!
Talking of “tangible development projects” under Governor Tambuwal in the last five years; let’s ask Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu, the defeated APC governorship candidate. As Commissioner for Works under Governor Aminu, Ahmed Aliyu was severally and, widely, reported to have said that the government had “completed over 200 projects abandoned at various stages of construction by the preceding administration”. That’s, the administration of Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, governor 2007 to 2015!
Apart from saving humongous sums of money that would have gone down the drain, Sokoto people, the real electorate are appreciative of the accomplishments of Rt Honourable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal in terms of tangible projects, positive and meaningful programs and policies that impact their lives and well-being. We have seen roads rehabilitated and new roads constructed in both urban and rural areas of Sokoto state since 2015.
We have since witnessed a fundamental turnaround in the education sector with the radical refurbishing of rundown educational institutions and the establishment of several new primary and secondary schools across the state. The law initiated by Tambuwal that makes education free and compulsory is a pragmatic step that has raised the population of our children in schools. Of course, it is not surprising that Ibrahim Rigasa has not heard of the world-class secondary school in Gudu which before 2015, had the shameful distinction of being the only local government area in the entire country without a post-primary school. Also, Rigasa and his paymasters wouldn’t, naturally, have heard of the awards given to Tambuwal by reputable national and international organisations in recognition of his phenomenal feats in the education sector.
“Give a dog a bad name”, the old saying goes, “in order to hang it”. Obviously out of not having anything concrete and factual to tarnish his administration, detractors have been going to town with tissues of lies that, “Tambuwal has turned Sokoto into one of the biggest borrowers of unaccountable loans in the country.” This runs contrary to statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics and the Federal Ministry of Finance that place Sokoto as one of the least indebted. Even then, it is to his credit that unlike our past experience when Tambuwal has been transparent and honest by making public the sums of loans his administration has so far taken and the purpose for which they were obtained. This is a positive departure from our past experience when loans in the name of Sokoto state were surreptitiously taken and expended on questionable and invisible projects. Any wonder that the EFCC has since been grilling some people?
The opinion that Tambuwal may have been “diverting the money of Sokoto people into his presidential project of 2023”, comes as simplistic as it is laughable. It portrays the purveyors as ill-informed. For instance, how wealthy were Muhammadu Buhari, late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua or Goofluck Jonathan before their elections as presidents? How much of their personal wealth did Barack Obama or Bill Clinton have to commit to their campaigns to win elections as USA presidents?
Talk of vendetta, treachery and mischief as hallmarks of people enraged, hazy and blind due to the festering diseases of defeat, the agony and shame of falling from grace to grass, the trauma of shattered dreams and the debilitating pangs of the cancerous ailment of envy. Pity! But, we owe such people the social obligation of always calling them to order by simply holding up the mirror for them to starkly view by themselves, their true pictures.
So long, Ibrahim Aminu Rigasa.
Majema writes from Hanun Kwana Majema, Tundun Wada, SokotoNo tags for this post.