Senate minority leader:  More hurdles for Tambuwal

By our staff reporter
There is growing opposition against Aminu Tambuwal, senator representing Sokoto south, in his bid for the position of senate minority leader.
Some lawmakers have been lobbying their parties and caucuses to be appointed as principal officers, since the election of presiding officers in June.
The majority and minority caucuses of the house of representatives and senate often collaborate with the leadership of political parties to choose principal officers.
The offices up for grabs are majority leader, deputy majority leader, whip, deputy whip, minority leader, deputy minority leader, minority whip, and deputy minority whip.
Even though Tambuwal, a former speaker of the house of representatives, is a ranking member and is eligible for the senate minority leader position, he is not the preferred choice of some of his colleagues in the minority parties and some parliamentary stakeholders.
Some senators in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are rooting for Abdul Ningi, senator representing Bauchi central, for the top minority position, TheCable understands.
The senators, it was learnt, prefer Ningi over Tambuwal because the former has been in the upper legislative chamber before. This is Tambuwal’s first senatorial stint.
“Party members and senators are also not happy about the fact that Tambuwal dumped the PDP around the 2015 elections as speaker and defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC),” one source said.
“They are angry that Tambuwal was one of the reasons PDP lost control of the house and ultimately lost that election.
“There have been moves to persuade the former governor of Sokoto to step down his ambition for Ningi.”
A group known as the Citizens Network for Peace and Development in Nigeria (CNPDN) said Tambuwal should not be allowed to become senate minority leader because he defied former President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP at the time.
Tambuwal defeated Mulikat Akande to become speaker in 2011. Jonathan would later express regret over his failure to stop Tambuwal’s bid.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja at the weekend, Francis Wainwei, CNPDN’s national secretary, said those supporting Tambuwal to become minority leader are seeking to drive a wedge between the executive and legislature.
“We totally reject the scheming of Tambuwal and company, geared towards hijacking the leadership of the minority parties in the senate for selfish and destructive purposes,” Wainwei said.
“Tambuwal should not be allowed to emerge as the minority leader of the senate because of his antecedents of selfish and acrimonious politics.
“Tambuwal and some senators are trying to recreate the acrimonious relationships between the national assembly and the executive that rocked the boat of governance in the past, that greatly slowed down the pace of governance and negatively affected the effectiveness of those administrations.”
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