Friday, December 15, 2017 12:35 pm
By Ademola Adegbamigbe
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, on Wednesday, visited Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state. It was not an ordinary visit but, according to insiders, it was a secret political meeting. This came up three days after the Abuja Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) convention that produced Chief Uche Secondus as chairman. Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state and Chief James Ibori, a past governor of Delta also surfaced there.
To shake off political book makers and prophets, Ibori and Wike made some zig-zag moves earlier in the day. While Ibori appeared at the Cenotaph, where products exhibition by beneficiaries of Okowa’s skills acquisition programmes was going on, Wike commissioned a road constructed by the Okowa administration.
At the exhibition, Ibori said: “I am pleased that you have invited me. My duty is to pray for you. The day Deltans voted for you, they did so with the confidence that you will deliver, and you are delivering. I am a Deltan, and I do have a voice on matters that bother on the peace and progress of Delta State. I may be watching from the sidelines, I want to say again that you (Okowa) are doing well. At the end of your eight-year tenure, Delta will be better for it. Your Excellency, we are solidly behind you.”
As politicians do, these afternoon shows gave way to a nocturnal meeting by Okowa, Ibori, Tambuwal and others which extended into the wee hours of the morning.
That Tambuwal, an All Progressives Congress (APC) governor paid a visit to Okowa, a PDP governor (with Wike materialising like a conjurer’s rabbit in a jiffy) has sent tongues wagging.
It was the same way analysts spoke (and still do) about the visit of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to the new Peoples Democratic Party Chairman, Uche Secondus at Hilton, Abuja recently. With Saraki that day were DSP, Sen. Ike Ikwerimadu and Sen. Dino Melaye.
Read the Saraki story here:
With 2019 general elections approaching, analysts believe that PDP is looking for a credible candidate to confront President Muhammadu Buhari of APC. Indeed, Buhari has disappointed his enemies who thought that by now, he would have become a bed-ridden vegetable! Rather, the old man waxes stronger in health every day, traversing the globe for one meeting or the other and even finding time to see his cows in Daura…
With Atiku who is a presidential material in PDP now, strategists within the party are jittery that he might become a baggage for the party because of the allegations of corruption against him ( though no Nigerian court has pronounced him guilty).
Those strategists, therefore, see Tambuwal as a young man (compared to Buhari and Atiku) who, with the agility of a cat, can hobnob well with his age mates who are heads of government in the international community. Moreover, Tambuwal does not have an albatross of corruption document following him about like an ancestral spell.
Who says Tambuwal may reject the plea to cross to PDP? It will be difficult to say no if PDP waves the presidential ticket at his nose. And who will look askance at a throne offered on a platter of gold? That is, kingship offered without a fight or intrigue or vendetta?
So, the only obstacle now is that Tambuwal and Saraki are in APC. And it is just a matter of time for them to cross to PDP and that will prove book makers right. Indeed, 2019 will be interesting as alliances and political fidelity will start shifting like sand dunes.