Tambuwal and the politics of treachery

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It is said that there is no morality in politics.
The Machiavellian school of thought which subscribes to this view believes that the end justifies the means.
For them, it does not matter how power is achieved, whether through moral or immoral means.
What matters is that the end has been attained.
It is against this background that political pacifists hold the view that there is no friend or enemy in politics but permanent interest.
Nevertheless, there must be a limit to immoral conduct and unprincipled behavior in politics.
In civilized democracies where people go into politics to serve the public good, there are standard codes of behavior which political office holders must comply with.
Whenever they run foul of such behaviors, they voluntarily step down from their positions.
But this is not so in our own clime where some desperate politicians and office seekers deploy all kinds of dirty tactics to gain and retain power at all cost.
Some even go to the extent of training and arming thugs and hooligans to eliminate their political opponents.
But most worrisome of these negative attributes is the use of treachery, blackmail and backbiting as political tools to seek power.
One such political stalwart in Nigeria today who indulges in this type of behavior is Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the current Governor of Sokoto state.
His politics is also defined by opportunism.
Tambuwal came into national political prominence in 2011 when he betrayed his political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to emerge as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
That position was zoned to the Southwest by the PDP on which platform he was elected from Kebbe/Tambuwal Constituency of Sokoto state to National Assembly.
With the help of lawmakers from the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) led by Hon.
Femi Gbajabiamila and Ashiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos dtate, Tambuwal became Speaker against the position of his party because of a vaulting ambition that is anchored on opportunism and selfishness.
As Speaker of the House, he ran an administration that was based on divide and rule.
When he consolidated on his position, he turned against some of the people particularly from the ACN that assisted him to come to power.
Many of those ACN supporters were left out in the cold during the distribution of the chairmanship of juicy committees in the House in what amounted like a stab on the back.
Tambuwal was later to display his full colour as a treacherous and unreliable politician when the leadership of the 8th House of Representatives was being constituted in 2015.
Tinubu and Gbajabiamila had relied on his support to make Gbajabiamila the Speaker of the House.
As a sitting Governor of Sokoto state on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tambuwal still had a good measure of influence over his former colleagues who were re-elected to the House of Representatives.
Given the support the ACN legislators from the Southwest gave him during his time, 2015 was seen as a payback time by Tambuwal.
To the consternation of everyone, he once again betrayed his allies and supporters in the Southeest by galvanizing support for Yakubu Dogara against Gbajabiamila who incidentally was the arrow head that made him Speaker in 2011.
The current face-off in the relationship between the Executive and Legislature has its origin in that singular act of betrayal by Tambuwal.
It was unbelievable that in spite of the support and assistance Tinubu and Gbajabiamila and indeed the entire Southwest had given to Tambuwal to make him Speaker, he would turn his back against his former benefactors for any reason.
This treacherous conduct has continued to attract condemnation from well-meaning Nigerians.
With this appalling behavior, Tambuwal has shown clearly to everyone that he can neither be trusted nor relied upon in the pursuit of any political cause.
This obviously would hurt his current scheming for the presidential ticket of the PDP.
Treachery, betrayal, opportunism and back-stabbing have continued to be his stock in trade.
This has manifested in the current drama playing out in Sokoto state where Governor Tambuwal has decamped from APC to PDP without taking into confidence former governor and now Senator Aliyu Wammako who helped to make him governor after he had decamped from PDP in 2014.
Since he decamped in pursuit of a presidential ambition, he has been trying to rubbish Wammako, the man who paved the way and pulled all the political strings to make him the governor of Sokoto state.
He has been giving the impression that he, Tambuwal, was the main issue in the politics of Sokoto state.
When he organized a rally to formally decamp to PDP, Tambuwal had expected all the key political actors in the dtate to come on board with him.
But unfortunately this is not the case.
Wammako and his supporters stayed back, proving a point that Tambuwal was on his own.
To the disappointment of Tambuwal about half of the members of the state House of Assembly refused to go with him to PDP.
Most embarrassingly, his personal aides numbering over 500 also resigned their appointments and refused to join him.
The mammoth crowd that received Wammako recently in the state clearly indicated who actually controls the grassroots in the Sokoto Caliphate.
It is not surprising, therefore, that Tambuwal has engaged his spin doctors to change the narrative.
His defection to PDP is considered by many informed analysts as a serious miscalculation which will truncate his political career.
Now that he has succeeded in picking the PDP presidential form to pursue his life long ambition, those who pushed him to test his political strength will desert him knowing well that he cannot go far.
He is like a car on high speed and we all know the damage of over-speeding, it kills.
To most political observers, this is the end of his over ambitious political adventure.
Muhammad writes from Abuja

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