PRESIDENTIAL AMBITION: BETWEEN AMBITION AND TEMPTING FATE: TAMBUWAL: A SCHOOLMATE I THOUGHT I KNEW. -PROF. S. A. ZURU.
Finishing my secondary in Zuru and securing admission to study Law at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, I felt like a rock star on a star walk of fame. Arriving in the University to begin my registration brought my set together for the first time and thus began a life long relationship.
However, settling down for a student’s life in the University, young, exuberant and expeditious, I soon realised that the norm was to relate with everybody around.
Although from get to go we were neither friends nor classmates, one student whose uncommon dexterity had came to the fore was one Aminu Tambuwal, young, polite, humble and notorious for Gamji Club activism.
As fate will most times dictate future events, I and Tambuwal got closer through a common friend of us Mamuda Bello whose Senior brother Ahmed Bello Mahmud (was a very successful lawyer and one of the best of his generation) And typically, was recently at the centre of Nigerian Senate’s serial conspiracy to deny him clearance for appointment as a REC from Zamfara State.
Mamuda Bello (our common friend) had a girlfriend, then Ms Safiya and now Madame Safiya Mamuda, like her husband, she is an incredible woman, she religiously kept us Mamuda’s friends a desperate lifeline of mesmerizing hura da nono and with the commitment of a miracle worker, the Mother Theresa in her never for once disappointed any of us (may God bless you madam Safiya and your children).
As the beginning started, finally the end came for our graduation and after being successful at the Law School in Lagos, everybody had a career decision to make about his future. Albeit never preconceived, I ended up in a Legal Department of a Federal Bank in Lagos while Tambuwal, rather than go to the bench decided to pursue success in private legal practice.
After few years in Lagos, in 1993 I was transferred to Sokoto branch of the Bank as the Legal Officer. As soon as I resumed, I thought the home coming wont be complete until I recovered old relationships and my earliest reach out was to our benevolent friend now Barr Mamuda Bello.
When he got my call through a landline, his excitement on the phone was remarkable, he simply rushed to my office and there he was dignity personified. It was only expected that in the course of interrogating memories that a name that would feature prominently was Barr. Aminu Tambuwal.
Expectedly, Mamuda had remained very close with him and told that Tambuwal’s office was steps ahead of mine. At that stage overwhelmed with nostalgia, we left for his office opp central bank, Gusau Road, Sokoto.
On reaching the office, Aminu Tambuwal was there, it was a fantastic reunion, the same Aminu I had always known; humble, gracious with humility of Jesus. We joked, we laughed and mimicked our former University Lecturers.
It was that reunion that marked a close association between me and Aminu, moreover, I discovered that we were both living in the same area of Sokoto ( Runjin Sambo).
Afterwards, would close from the Bank and will stop in his office to wait for him to finish drafting his motions for the next day Court Proceedings then we will ride home together on his famous C 75 motorcycle ( that was the Aminu I knew; humble, hardworking and trustworthy ).
After few years, I left Nigeria for Dundee University, Scotland, U.K. for a Postgraduate Studies and that once again interrupted my relationships including my association with Aminu Tambuwal.
A decade after, I came back to Nigeria and took up a lecturing job with Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto but this time, I have lost contact with Aminu Tambuwal for good.
However, in 2006 I went to Abuja International Airport to see off a friend who visited me from U.K., as we stood chatting before checking in, somebody tapped me from behind we this expression in hausa “shegen gora”, when I turned, behold, it was Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who was now a member of House of Representatives.
Again, we hugged, shouting our names to the bemusement of the crowd about, after the usual pretence and posturing and traditional excuses for a failed relationship, he said they were leaving for Canada on a parliamentary exchange, we exchanged numbers and promised to make up for the lost time.
However, this time around, unlike the Aminu Tambuwal I knew, I thought he was looking abit gaga and exuded a weird intelligence of a playboy mansion, this thought I kept to myself, we hugged and said goodbye.
After few weeks, we exchanged few text messages but as expected, soon the texts dried up for good.
When I reached out to some schoolmates, their confessions about Aminu was unsettling and perhaps a warning however, for me, there is nothing extraordinary for anybody to choose who his friends are and as a friend, you don’t insist on relationship with anyone, let every relationship evolves and define itself and you must make your peace with t