The National leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal to “do the needful” by resigning his post.
The decision of the party was taken after a meeting with the House Leader, Mulikat Akande-Adeola, who was at the party’s secretariat to brief the party leaders of the formal defection of Tambuwal to defect to the All Progresssive party.
Incidentally, Akande-Adeola is from the South West geo-political zone, which was favoured by the PDP to produce the Speaker in accordance with the PDP zoning formula before the palace coup in the parliament threw up Tambuwal from the North West as the Speaker of the parliament in 2011.
Akande-Adeola lost the election to the Speakership in the contest with Tambuwal.
Throughout the duration of the wait for Tambuwal’s defection to APC, the House Leader was touted as one of the front-runners of possible replacement for Tambuwal in event he resigns from the office of the Speaker.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, reminded Tambuwal of the fact that he came into office through the platform of PDP and that since he has left the party, he should toe the path of honour and quit the office.
The statement reads in part: “The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has met with PDP leaders in the House of Representatives concerning the defection of the Speaker, His Excellency, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal to the APC.
“After a thorough consideration of the matter, the NWC came to a conclusion that the Hon. Speaker, as a responsible elected officer, knows full well what is needful and honourable of him since his new party is in the minority.
“We are not unmindful of the fact that Hon. Tambuwal became Speaker on the platform of the PDP as the political party with the majority of seats in the House of Representatives and that this incontrovertible fact has not changed”.
However, the APC described Tambuwal’s defection as a good thing which had been delayed for some reasons. Briefing newsmen after the plenary, the APC caucus in the House led by the Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos) stated that it welcomed and applauded the decision of the Speaker to join the progressives, adding that events in the past one year have left no one in doubt about the political leanings of the Speaker.
Gbajabiamila noted that the Speaker by his defection does not necessarily have to lose his position, because the Constitution does give the right to appoint a Speaker for the lower arm of the parliament to the members.
“We are here to address you on the event of what just transpired on the floor of the House. We welcome and applaud the Speakers’ decision. Ever since the crisis in the PDP started leading to the defection of five governors, we always knew that this moment would come.
“The Constitution provides that the Speaker of the House be appointed by members of the House, and no one else,” Gbajabiamila said.
However, reacting to the development, a former Minister of Transport and member of the PDP’s Board of Trustees, Ebenezer Babatope, on Tuesday said Speaker Tambuwal has gambled with his political life by joining the APC.
Babatope told Daily Independent in an interview that the Speaker had embarked on a ‘political wild goose’ in the APC.
Babatope had earlier said the PDP would take disciplinary actions against Tambuwal for attending a family meeting of the APC in his Sokoto home state last week.
“The young man, Tambuwal, has embarked on a political wild goose chase. It is a pity that by this singular decision, he has gambled with his political life. I don’t have much to say but to wish him best of luck,” he said.
‘’Based on our extant laws and the provisions of our Constitution; and having regard for the political development in my state, I hereby announce my membership of the All Progressives Congress.
“I thank all my colleagues who had stood by me in days gone by as a member of the PDP and also Speaker of this House. I once again urge all our colleagues to remain steadfast in the days ahead as we work together to further the common good of our dear nation.”
With these words, Tambuwal, Tuesday officially announced his defection from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) after months of consultations and horse trading.
Tambuwal who made the declaration shortly before adjourning plenary on Tuesday told his colleagues that his decision to leave the PDP and join the APC was within the confines of the constitution and also based on political development in his home state, Sokoto.
Meanwhile, Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said that he has no plans to leave the APC.
Atiku said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday that those carrying the rumours that he would dump the party after its presidential primary were not being sincere.
The former Vice President who is a front runner among the party’s presidential aspirants therefore asked Nigerians to disregard any publication alleging that he would leave the party for either the Labour Party or the Peoples Democratic Movement.
He said he had traced the person behind the rumour to an unnamed member of the APC from the North-East zone, whom he said was working for another presidential aspirant from the opposition party.
The statement said, “This information is not only egregiously false, but our investigations have traced it to a senior APC member from the North-East zone, who is working to further the presidential ambitions of another aspirant within the party.
“He is also known to be working with certain elements in the Peoples Democratic Party.
“Sadly, the Atiku Media Office has over the past few months had to issue a number of rejoinders against falsehoods published by the newspapers.
“We, hereby, advise the public to completely disregard any information about Atiku Abubakar on this matter.”
It would be recalled that the former Vice President had stated in a meeting with stakeholders in the media in Lagos last month that the APC is his “final bus stop”.
Abubakar said that proclamation still stands as he “does not intend to leave the APC for the PDM or any other party.