Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the federal house of representatives, has revealed that he is not on speaking terms with Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto state and former speaker of the lower chamber, who backed Yakubu Dogara to emerge speaker of the green chambers.
Gbajabiamila, who said he felt betrayed, expressed disappointment at Tambuwal’s comments questioning his competence to occupy the position.
Tambuwal had initially said he had a strong affinity for Gbajabiamila, but he endorsed Dogara due to his “proven competence” as chairman of house services committee.
Speaking on Straight Talk with Kadaria Ahmed aired on Channels Television on Wednesday night, Gbajabiamila revealed the betrayal he felt for Tambuwal’s comments.
“It’s a comment I would rather ignore, I feel disappointed in that statement. Looking at that statement, there are many things wrong with that statement, which I don’t want to join issues with. But let me just say this since this is ‘straight talk’.
“I feel disappointed that a speaker to whom much had been given would chop down the issue of leadership and competence to the issue of procurement. That is the last thing I would expect him to say,” adding that the same procurement got Patricia Etteh and Dimeji Bankole into trouble.
“To seat here and say there is no sense of betrayal would be lying. Of course, there is a sense of betrayal, but it’s not something I dwell on. Betrayal unfortunately happens to be the order of the day in politics – particularly in Nigeria. So do I feel betrayed? Yes.
“Tambuwal was one of my closest friends when he ran for speaker; I think I single-handedly pushed his speakership bid. But again, he must have reasons why he did what he did. That must be respected; I just wished he had made that known.”
Asked if he had spoken with Tambuwal since the election, he said: “No I have not, I am not crossing paths with him, he is in Sokoto, I’m in Abuja; you might want to direct that question to him. Who do you think should be reaching out to who?
“When it was clear we were going to win, the other side walked out. Tambuwal, who is my friend, did not call once to congratulate me, he never sent a message, and I haven’t spoken to him since then.”
Speaking on allegations levelled against Babtunde Fashola on budgetary allocations and contract, Gbajabiamila said “I am not holding brief for him, he may be guilty. But as of today he has not been proven guilty.”