Following calls by the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP asking defected Speaker Aminu Tambuwal to do the needful and resign his position as speaker. The party he defected to, the All Progressives Congress hailed his decision to cross carpet, insisting that Tambuwal remained the speaker. The opposition party stressed that both the constitution and a political precedent supported Tambuwal’s continued leadership in the House.
The major beneficiary of his defection, rose to Tambuwal’s defence as it welcomed the development, arguing that it would give the opposition the opportunity to enthrone checks and balances in governance.
APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the speaker’s defection to the APC had opened an opportunity for the party to aim for greater heights ahead of the 2015 general election.
“I must say that this historic development means that our democracy is growing by the day and it is dynamic. On a more serious note, we welcome the defection of Tambuwal to APC. With this defection, APC has now taken the leadership of one arm of the national legislature.
“We think that having the head of the legislature from the opposition party makes for a balanced setting in government and it’s good for democracy,” he said.
“When the accord concordia broke down, the then Speaker, Chief Edwin Umezoke, did not relinquish his position. Those who are saying this has not happened before and that Tambuwal should step aside as speaker, do not have the backing of history and the constitution,” Lai recalled.
“Right Honourable Waziri Tambuwal has been a speaker for all the members of the House and all the political parties and for all Nigerians. I’m sure keen observers of activities on the floor and people who follow the House of Representatives would bear witness to the fact that Honourable Tambuwal has been a bridge-builder, he has cut across party lines and he has always put national interest in the fore front of all his decisions and his activities on the floor of the House.
“I believe and we trust that even with this switch to the All Progressives Congress, he would continue to do that and keep faith with that principle.
“As a caucus, we pledge our continued support to the current leadership of the House of Representatives. We will not do anything to destabilise the institution of the House of Representatives so that it would continue to deliver on the mandate given to its members by Nigerians.
Tambuwal finally defected to the APC on the floor of the House yesterday, shortly after which the House adjourned sitting till December 3 to forestall any attempts by the federal government and PDP to remove him from office.
The eventual defection forced the ruling PDP’s National Working Committee (NWC) to call an emergency meeting to review the development.
The Party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary Olisa Metuh, asked Tambuwal to do the needful, as the PDP holds the majority in the House of Representatives.
The party said: “After a thorough consideration of the matter, the NWC came to the conclusion that the Honourable 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.”
Also, joining the call for his resignation, the Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, asked Tambuwal to resign as the honourable man that he is.
“He should do the needful, as there is no crisis in the PDP. Right from time, Tambuwal has only been a member of PDP only by mouth. He has been associating with the opposition.
“The PDP is in the majority in the House and the constitution says that the speaker of the House of Representatives should come from the majority party. “There is no crisis in PDP as a political party,” Akpabio stressed.
He admonished all those who were expecting Tambuwal to quit his position as speaker to go down history lane to understand the workings of the legislature.