After months of prevarication, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, will formally defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) Tuesday, a decision that will be announced on the floor of the House during plenary.
A source close to the speaker said that the decision to finally leave the People#s Democratic Party (PDP) for the APC was the result of many months of consultations that the speaker had embarked on since events in the PDP took a different turn.
According to the source, all is set for the speaker to put paid to the speculations that had enveloped his political career for many months.
Asked about the implication of his defection on his position as speaker and his seat as a member of the House, the source contended that there was no such thing as losing both positions because the constitution only requires the speaker to be a member of the lower chamber and not from the party that has the most members in parliament.
“The constitution is silent on it. It does not state that the speaker must belong to a certain political family. It only states that the members must elect the speaker from amongst themselves as elected representatives of different political parties and that was exactly what happened when they elected the speaker in 2011,” he said.
But on the likelihood of losing his membership of the House, except it has been proven that there was a crisis in his former party, the source stated that Tambuwal could not have taken such a big risk if he had not thought through the implications and consequences.
“The thinking in the speaker’s circles is that if there was no crisis in Sokoto PDP, Governor Aliyu Wamakko would not have left the party. Also, if there was no crisis in the Sokoto PDP, Chief Tony Anenih would not have led a delegation to the state to make peace.
“So it stands to reason that there was a crisis in the state chapter of the party, and that is the reason the speaker has taken this difficult but courageous decision,” he added.
The source said there was nothing to fret about the speaker’s defection, adding that he had every justification to leave the PDP even though it was the least of his plans having invested and laboured hard to make the PDP what it is today.
“But the party is far from being what they wanted it to be; it has abandoned its underpinning philosophy and only the discerning can tell that the party is swimming against the tide.
“I can tell you therefore that all is set for the speaker to defect tomorrow (today) to the APC. All the arrangements have been made. The decision will be announced during plenary but it affects nothing – his speakership and seat in the house – he will remain who he is,” the source stated.
Another House member explained that another reason Tambuwal is likely to remain speaker stems from the fact that the ruling PDP does not have the two-thirds majority in the lower chamber to effect a leadership change.
He said: “Realistically, the PDP does not have the numbers to remove him and besides, there are a lot of PDP members who will not vote for his removal.
“On top of this, legislators are distracted with the primaries and elections around the corner. They would hardly have the time to concentrate on a leadership change at this point in time. Tambuwal’s defection was perhaps timed taking this into consideration.”
With his defection, Tambuwal will be free to contest for the governorship ticket of the APC in his state, given that he has dropped his presidential dream and the governorship has been zoned to his senatorial district.