Aminu Tambuwal, the Sokoto State governor, has thrown his weight behind the embattled speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, against his accuser, a former chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin.
It was gathered on Monday, August 8, 2016, that the senior special assistant to the president on National Assembly Matters, Mr. Abdulrahman Kawu-Sumaila, was also supporting Dogara.
The moves by the governor and the president’s aide were said to have deepened the budget padding crisis in the House.
It was gathered that Tambuwal had been mobilising some members of the House from the North-West to support the speaker.
A member of the House told Punch, “It is an open secret that the Speaker is Tambuwal’s man. The Sokoto State governor was instrumental in the emergence of Dogara as the Speaker in 2015. He has not abandoned the man. He is mobilising members of the House for Dogara.”
It was learnt that although the Sokoto State governor had succeeded in convincing the North-West members of the House to support Dogara, the South-West members had, however, declined to support the Speaker.
Findings showed that members from the South-West had not forgotten the role Tambuwal played in the emergence of Dogara as the Speaker in June 2015, dumping Femi Gbajabiamila, the preferred candidate of the All Progressives Congress.
It was learnt that the budget crisis would have been resolved if the South-West members had signed the list of those who were ready to pass vote of confidence in Dogara.
A chieftain of the party also said, “You will recall that the South-West members of the party were instrumental in the emergence of Tambuwal as the Speaker in 2011. In 2015, when it was the time to show gratitude, he abandoned the zone.”
Investigations also showed that the relationship between Jibrin and Kawu-Sumaila had been frosty since the budget padding crisis started.
It was learnt that Jibrin, who accused Dogara of padding the budget, was not happy with Kawu-Sumaila because he thought that the presidential aide prevented him from meeting President Muhammadu Buhari.
The former appropriation committee chairman had in a aeries of tweets on Sunday, August 7, 2016, alleged that two governors and three former members of the House were blocking him from meeting the President.
A source said, “Jibrin feels that Kawu-Sumaila has been tactically supporting Dogara.”
Kawu-Sumaila, an All Progressives Congress ex-lawmaker from Kano State like Jibrin, had previously served as the deputy minority leader of the House before becoming the SSA to Buhari.
Jibrin did not name the governors, but sources close to him were said to have named Kawu-Sumaila as one of the three former Reps.
“The point is that you could see Kawu-Sumaila with Dogara in the video as the Speaker addressed State House correspondents soon after he emerged from the meeting with the President,” one of close aides of Jibrin alleged.