Three days after the wedding fatiha of his son Barrister Najib Tambuwal to Ameena Abubakar Argungu daughter to Senator Umar Abubarkar Argungu (Tafidan Kebbi) the torrent of goodwill messages flowing to the Governor of Sokoto state, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and blessings on the new family have remained on the ascendancy.
The outpouring of goodwill has defied political divide, in a steeply and fiercely divided political party system and instead have narrowed the poles of difference for the moment in honour of the governor reputed for being a bridge builder across political, geographical and ethnic barriers. Very few political watchers are however surprised this is the case.
According to Alhaji Bilma Tureta, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Kebbi state who graced the occasion, “what is happening here today is a sign of the personality of the governor who has been a man for everybody beyond party lines”
Yes, it was gathering of the rich, poor, affluent, big, small and international. It was a roll call of the political from all parties and ideologies. From the north they came. From the south they also came. The east was ebulliently represented. The west was not left out.
According to Tureta, Argungu a desert town used to the cluster of huge crowds because of the internationally reputed Argungu fishing festival, was again shaken to its embers as the nation marched on its sandy grounds.
“Argungu is used to hosting huge crowds as a result of the fishing festival but I can tell you that what is happening today is a fitting reminder of its fishing festival days” adding “and only a man with the amiable and likeable personality like Governor Tambuwal could have pulled to this town this quality and quantity of Nigerians in a one day event”
Politics aside, it was the day for Barrister Najib, a University of Buckingham trained lawyer and his new wife Ameena. Their fatiha had all the trappings of royalty and power.
The ceremony was hosted by the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Mera, the 33rd Emir of the emirate, within the chambers of the ancient and majestic palace, first built by His Royal Majesty Yakubu Nabame, a former Emir of the emirate in the early 1930s. it served as the seat of the Emir until 1942 when the British authorities then built a new one to replace it.
Najib’s proposal for marriage was carried on the presidential hands of President Muhhamadu Buhari who was represented by the Attorney general and Minister of Justice Abubarkar Malami SAN and received by the Governor of Kebbi state, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu who convey the sweet acceptance words Najib had longed to hear.
The roll call of the big wigs of the society was long and heavy. On the list of governors that graced the occasion were those of Ekiti state Kayode Fayemi, Chairman of the Governor’s Forum. Others were the governors of Enugu state Ifeanyi Ugwuani, Rivers state, Eyesom Wike, Borno state Professor Zulum, Bauchi state Bala Mohammed, and Jigawa state Badaru Abubarkar.
There was also a long list of former governors at the event. At the event was former governor of Jigawa state Sule Lamido, Zamfara state Senator Ahmed Yerima, Imo state Hon Emeka Ihedioha.
Senator Bala Na”Alla was at the event that drew countless former and serving senators who were at the occasion to honour one of their former colleague and business mogul. Alhaji Abubarkar seats as chairman of Hijrah Holdings with vast interests in shipping, marine services as well as oil and gas.
As the dust from the gathering on the ancient town begins to settle down, Najib will be returning to a very busy and hectic life as a youth mobilizer in the state. As majority Leader of the Nigeria Youth Parliament Najib has a busy workload. Said Yakubu Mohammed an associate of Najib, “knowing him very well, I know he is waiting for all these (fatiha) to conclude to return to his hectic work load”
Words around sokoto indicate that Governor Tambuwal may have left a bit too much of himself in Najib. According to Mohammed, “he is a very humble and simple person, his simplicity is exceptional and his personality is engaging”. Mohammed describes Najib as a youth mobilizer per excellence and a young man difficult to ignore.
Under the umbrella of the Tambuwal Ambassadors Najib engages youths of the state on may frontiers for individual and collective development.
One thing guests to the wedding ceremony would not have missed in the city are the huge and massive infrastructural developments going on around the state, particularly on the way from the airport to Argungu.
The projects include the recently awarded Sokoto State Teaching Hospital and the Premier Hospital at Sabon Birmi. The two hospital projects is scheduled to make Sokoto a medical tourism heaven for Nigerians
Governor Tambuwal is also building two massive flyovers projects at Runjin Sambo and Rijiyar Dorowa to unbundle traffic build up around the areas and duallizing the Tashar Illela road, Maituta road and Waziri Abbas Road to free up traffic on the roads.
The huge infrastructure projects have turned Sokoto into massive construction sites.
Anselm Okolo is a journalist based in Abuja and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org