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Odimegwu Onwumere: Speaker Tambuwal And Political Buccaneers



Credit: Thisday

Credit: Thisday

Nigeria now looks like a place where suspects are sent to prison before they are convicted by any courts of competent jurisdiction. This is what many are doing to the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal. They would not want him to rest, with speculations that he has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to the All Progressive Congress (APC), while at the same time posturing as a member of the former. But he has debunked such conjectures as unconcealed attacks from rival politicians and non-politicians.

The country’s politics is now like a university’s radical cult groups. The slightest misgivings in approach, you are gone for it, except providence plays its indomitable role to save the person. The type of politics that are being played in Nigeria is the type that if you attended a function that was hosted by your father or mother, who is a member of a different political party, whereas you are in another political party, oh, the speculation would go viral that you have joined the political party of your father or mother.

Inter alia, they are presently nailing Tambuwal, because he went to Edo State-controlled by APC and spoke from the Government House, Benin, where he commended Governor Adams Oshiomhole for promoting democracy and democratic ethics and handling some key developments in the state. Tambuwal said that he was happy with Governor Oshiomhole and was optimistic that the people of the state were happy for having a comrade governor whose preoccupation is nationalism.

One is not sure if people did not want Tambuwal to pay a condolence visit to Oshiomhole who lost Queen Esther Erediauwa, the late wife of the revered Oba of Benin, Oba Erediauwa. Tambuwal may be nursing the ambition to join the APC, but since he has said that he remains a PDP member, it would be good that people leave him at that, till the obvious happens. His leadership in the House might not be Utopia, but his colleagues have not passed any vote against him, not to lead them anymore. From outside, many see him as an anti-PDP and a mole in the party, espionaging its activities and should not be taken seriously. Wow. What a country of speculations!

There is always a time for political self-motivations. This is what some of the people do not know or knew, but have refused to see it as part of political ideologies of politicians. If Tambuwal defects or has the ambition to defect, it is his self-motivation. He is not the first or the last to do so. Defecting from one party to another should be seen and taken as asylum that activists especially seek, where one’s country is not favourable to him or her and he or she requests for political, social or economic asylum in another country.

For instance in 1967, a known dictator, Joseph Stalin, his daughter requested for political asylum at the United States Embassy in India. The American State Department could be in the-know of her application, but refused to comment on the issue, when the American Mutual Radio network broke the news. Like the PDP’s seemingly death, which has caused a lot of its members to defect to a more viable political party, Svetlana Alliluyeva, the daughter of Stalin, who preferred to be known by her mother’s maiden name, was worried since her father’s death in 1953; she was 42-year-old, hence she sought for asylum.

PDP and many Nigerians, without doubt, have become wrongly-fault-finders; they forgot that intelligence does not only work for a country and the other; it also works for a politician and a political party. Even though that many see politicians as liars, politics could be more accurately regarded as a spiritual practice that politicians involve in upon the principle to produce who governs the electorates. Like Christians are in a relationship with Jehovah, so politicians are in a relationship with politics and they, follow the formula and spend their time in the spiritual margin of politics.

If Tambuwal defects, he is accomplishing a part of politics’ checklists every politician feels he or she is obligated to do, to please his or her political career, as far as this does not sabotage any pending agreement with anybody or group. Whether the purported defection of Tambuwal will set PDP for total disintegration is left for the party to decide. Politicians are not meant to be ‘here’ alone; their habit of being ‘here’ and ‘there’ is what makes them politicians. Remove this habit from them, they are no longer politicians.

They are beasts of nations but of different political calculations and administrations. This is why many who do not understand politics and politicians see them as confused persons. Many people have tagged Tambuwal with this meaning. But he is neither confused nor confusing anybody; he is just exhibiting his own pattern of politics and would, come out stronger with his summations at the appropriate time. Nigeria is even lucky that what we have are politicians defecting from one political party to another; if we have got Army defecting to criminals, criminals defecting to police, police defecting to fraudsters etc., then, we will know that we are in real trouble.

For a case-in-point, in The Atlantic, Aug 14 2013, Graeme Wood writes that on the night of January 4, 1965, U.S. Army Sergeant Charles Robert Jenkins pounded 10 beers, deserted his infantry company at the edge of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, walked alone across a minefield, and defected to North Korea. So, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal should be allowed to make his choice, as far as such choice does not contravene the Constitution of Nigeria. People should stop casting vituperations against Tambuwal with the insult that he should stop deceiving himself.

Another illustration is that if Nigeria were Britain that deported Cyprus Archbishop in 1956, the story would not have ended till date. But Archbishop Makarios was deported in the hope of restoring law and order to the crown colony, after he refused to deprecate the use of violence against the British. Others arrested and deported to an unknown destination, were Bishop Kyprianos of Kyrenia, Polycarpos Ionnides, and Papastavros Papa-Aganthelou, after they were accused of supporting guerrilla and other violent activities.

People should help this country by stop seeing Tambuwal as a traitor as has been the case in some quarters. He did not officially ask anybody in the House to defect to the APC with the hope that he would join afterwards, but is still in the PDP. The same occurrence goes with the 7-G governors: Five defected to the APC, while two still remain in the PDP. Yet, neither the ones here nor there have said that each other is a traitor for defecting or not defecting. Besides, Tambuwal is an adult and reportedly a lawyer; he may be playing within the ambits of the law and, neophytes term that as political hypocrisy.

Written By Odimegwu Onwumere

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