Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mulikat Akande-Adeola, said on Tuesday that it had now dawned on her that the Speaker, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, his Deputy, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, and Deputy House Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, played a game on her over Tambuwal’s defection.
Tambuwal had defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress on October 28.
He adjourned the House to December 3 soon after announcing his defection, cashing in on the motion for adjournment already moved by Akande-Adeola.
The majority leader has since come under heavy criticism from the PDP, which blames her for allowing Tambuwal to defect under her nose and getting away with a lengthy adjournment of the House.
But, speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, the House leader tried to exonerate herself, saying that she had no concrete evidence that Tambuwal was defecting until the announcement came abruptly on October 28.
She added that, it was until he defected that it dawned on her that there was a game going on, which Tambuwal, Ihedioha and Ogor knew about but kept her in the dark.
Akande-Adeola stated, “At that point in the chamber, I didn’t feel anyhow but after he made his statement then I knew that there was something that must have been planned that I was not aware of.
“Because if you know me very well, I am someone; I deal with everyone on equal basis and I have a very open mind. I don’t think it would have been out of place for the speaker to even tell me that leader, I am moving tomorrow. I don’t think that would have been out of place.
“The only thing would have been may be to ask him a few questions and all that. We are colleagues in the House. We represent different constituencies.
“What is good for him may not be good for me. He has his reasons for doing whatever he has done. But I would have expected that I was told no matter what. So, that is just it.”
She recalled that before the motion for adjournment was moved, she asked Ihedioha and Ogor if the speculated defection plan of Tambuwal was true since it was not happening, but both officials brushed off her concerns.
Akande-Adeola revealed that a meeting of the leadership had taken place a day to the defection, where the issue of the appropriate date for the adjournment was discussed.
She claimed to have opposed the lengthy defection to December 3 because it did not tally with that of the Senate, which was November. 4.
The leader added that she even reported to the meeting that December 3 was not realistic because the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, had already briefed her that the Senate would reconvene on November 4.
However, she said her own position was overruled by the majority of the nine members of the leadership in attendance, including Tambuwal.
She admitted that the meeting eventually agreed to the December 3 date after the consensus was that the period would be used for oversight duties and party primaries.
She clarified that Tambuwal’s defection was not an item on the agenda of the meeting, neither was mention of it made throughout the session.
“So, after all the reasoning and everything, we agreed that okay, first, members should go and work on their tickets and that the House will adjourn for the first two weeks, let members conclude all the reports in the various committees. And the following two weeks will be for oversight functions towards the budget. That was what we agreed,” she added.