In a bid to ensure House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who has been flirting openly with the opposition, stays with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party has opened the door for him to pick up Sokoto governorship ticket.
The defection of party bigwigs to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has mandated the ruling party to take all necessary steps to ensure the remaining prominent members of the party stays.
The party is dangling before the speaker, a key ally of Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko, who is one of the five PDP governors that have defected to APC, the ticket to fly the flag of the ruling party in the 2016 governorship election in the state.
To demonstrate its sincerity, the party Thursday cancelled the planned inauguration of the caretaker committee for the state chapter of the PDP to enable Tambuwal nominate candidates who will protect his interest in the party’s affairs in Sokoto.
However, the PDP inaugurated the caretaker committee for Kwara State, another state where the PDP has lost a large number of members, including the Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, and his predecessor who is now a senator, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to APC.
PDP’s bid to discourage Tambuwal from defecting to APC came against the backdrop of the defection of nearly all top political officer holders in Sokoto State, including House members from the state, 27 lawmakers from the state House of Assembly, cabinet members, local government chairmen and councillors who followed Wamakko to APC.
Speculations are rife that the speaker is only bidding his time and may soon join other top politicians from the state in APC.
In order to ensure this does not happen, most especially with the grave implications of allowing the House speaker to cross to the opposition, it was gathered that the PDP had moved to make offers to the speaker to keep him in the party.
It was also learnt that the decision to lobby Tambuwal to remain in PDP, which prompted the party to shelve the inauguration of the caretaker committee members for Sokoto State, was reached at a meeting between Jonathan and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio.
The meeting between the president and the governor, according to Thisday, came on the heels of Tambuwal’s visit to Akpabio in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, on Monday, during which the governor begged him to stop further defections of PDP House members to APC following the switch of political allegiance by 37 federal lawmakers.
The party had recently dissolved both the executive committees in its local chapters in Kwara and Sokoto States following the defection of their governors.
But while the members of the Sokoto State caretaker committee of the party were waiting to be inaugurated along with their Kwara State counterparts in Abuja yesterday, they were told that only those of Kwara would be sworn in.
Sources said a list of new committee members, comprising loyalists to Tambuwal, was being complied and would be inaugurated later.