After months of speculation, Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto state, has finally defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Four years ago, the governor had left the PDP while serving as the speaker of the house of representatives to join forces with then-opposition APC. What prompted his return to the party?
Addressing his supporters in Sokoto, Tambuwal said the APC has not only failed to meet the expectations of the masses but has put Nigeria in its most difficult state since the civil war of 1967.
Below are five reasons the governor gave for dumping the ruling party.
‘APC RAPING NIGERIA’S DEMOCRACY’
The governor accused President Muhammadu Buhari of running an administration of “lethargy, incompetence and sustained denial of obvious leadership missteps”.
He said the APC, “which promised so much when the PDP stood under the sway of impunity”, could not maintain or manage “whatever good” it inherited.
According to him, “the party has also not broken new grounds in any positive sense, but has instead reached historically unprecedented heights of impunity in all manner of vices far above and beyond the challenges which made some of us to leave the PDP. It has brazenly turned itself into a sanctuary for the corrupt and a machine for rigging and for the rape of democracy.”
‘NIGERIA FACING ITS MOST DIFFICULT TIMES SINCE CIVIL WAR’
Tambuwal said he left his “comfort zone” while in the PDP to be involved in the struggle for the enthronement of “purposeful leadership” for Nigerians.
But “almost four years into what ought to be a new order as desired and elected by Nigerians, the nation is unfortunately going through the most difficult and precarious times, since the civil war; with ethno, religious and regional distrust at its highest ebb.”
He added: “This development had often been blamed on political opponents. Meanwhile, there are issues of brazen inequity and capacity and questionable distribution of appointments/projects. This is in addition to lack of statesmanship in responding to national issues, among other things that are for aggravating the anomaly.”
‘NO FEDERAL PROJECT IN SOKOTO’
The governor also accused the APC-led administration of abandoning Sokoto state along in terms of infrastructural developments. He said while there was no new project introduced by the federal government, the uncompleted ones it met has been “neglected”.
According to him, “I cannot look those who elected me their Governor here in Sokoto state in the face and boldly point to any meaningful federal projects initiated in the state under the APC government.
“Even the bulk of uncompleted federal projects here that were inherited from the previous administration have largely remained in their state of neglect. Sokoto state is also not being meaningfully carried along in political appointments and in other matters of national importance.”
Tambuwal also pointed out the security challenges facing the country as another factor pushing him out of the APC.
Hundreds have been killed in 2018 in attacks by bandits, armed robbers and suspected herdsmen – mostly in northern states.
The governor said these attacks have among other things caused lack of respect for traditional institutions in northern states.
He said: “Like most states of the north, and indeed the entire federation, elders and traditional institutions have come under measured disrespect.
“The recent attack in Tabinnii in Rabah LGA of Sokoto state, the routine invasion of Zamfara state by armed bandits, the now-regular killing of policemen by unknown gun men all over the country, the regular massacre of innocent people in the north-east axis and many similar daily incidents, do not attract much attention anymore.”
BAD GOVERNANCE, LACK OF ECONOMIC WELL-BEING FOR NIGERIANS
The governor said topmost among his reasons for leaving the APC is the bad state of the nation’s economy which has resulted to “poor living standards” for Nigerians.
He cited a report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that “over nine million jobs have been lost in the last three years”, since the APC government came into office, adding that “the economy is not showing any real signs of improvement.”
“Good governance, viz-a-viz economic well-being of our people, remain the major reason for my action of today … our educational and health institutions are in retreat,” he said, adding: “Poverty is on rampage and still ravages the land. It is unacceptable that majority of those who voted for APC in 2015 should have nothing good to show for it.”