The Nigeria Labour Congress has condemned the withdrawal of the security details attached to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, over his defection to the All Progressives Congress.
The General- Secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, who described the decision as unconstitutional and shameful in a statement issued to press men Sunday, warned that nothing should happen to the Speaker over the withdrawal of the police details attached to his office.
Ozo-Eson who argued that it was not stated in the constitution that the Speaker must be elected from the majority party in the House of Representatives, cited the example of Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke of the defunct Nigeria’s Peoples Party who was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic.
He said when the disbanded National Party of Nigeria was the ruling party and the Unity Party of Nigeria was the main opposition in the country.
The NLC wondered why the security details of the governors of Borno and Ondo states, Ali Modu Sherriff and Olusegun Mimiko, were not withdrawn when they defected to the PDP.
“We, at the Nigeria Labour Congress, are appalled by the withdrawal of security details of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, ostensibly because he had defected to the All Progressives Congress.
“The act is shameful, distasteful, unconstitutional, and demonstrates our parochial sense of power and very little knowledge of history. No part of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria says the Speaker of the House of Representatives should come from the majority party. Section 50(1)(b) only says, “There shall be …a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves…
“In the Second Republic, the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke, was elected from the ranks of the Nigeria Peoples Party, not just an opposition party but the third after the UPN and the NPN. We have other precedents across the world.
“We find it appropriate to cite the examples of Mimiko and Ali Modu-Sheriff, governor of Ondo State and former governor of Borno states respectively. Their security details were not withdrawn when they defected to the Peoples Democratic Party.
“We would like to be on record that we will not fold our hands while little minds threaten our hard-earned democracy. Nothing should happen to Tambuwal.”
The NLC called advocated the need for strong institutions while demanding the immediate restoration of the security details of Tambuwal, noted that the issue was beyond the person of the Speaker but his office.
“The police and other security agencies involved in this disgusting conduct should hold their heads in shame. Herein lies the essence of strong institutions, which we have always advocated.
“For those who take pleasure in converting to personal use, public/state institutions, they should remember that today’s men will soon become yesterday’s men. What goes around, comes around.”