Nigeria News
Tambuwal: PDP House leaders buckle

Pressures on the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP leadership in the House of Representatives to move against Speaker Aminu Tambuwal began to manifest yesterday after a key PDP leader affirmed that the speaker would not preside whenever the House reconvenes.

The assertion made by one of Speaker Tambuwal’s closest allies, Mr. Leo Ogor, the deputy leader of the House came as the House leader, Mrs. Mulikat Akande-Adeola narrated to journalists how she vainly fought to stop the one month adjournment of the House.

DEcamped—Speaker Tambuwal after decamping to APC, yesterday.

According to the House leader, her efforts to stop the long adjournment were overwhelmed by other members of the House leadership who met a day before Speaker Tambuwal’s defection from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Mr. Ogor, one of the most influential members in the House leadership, well known for his closeness to the speaker seemed to buckle to pressures yesterday when he told journalists that Tambuwal would not preside whenever the House resumes on the claim that he, Tambuwal could not be judge in his own case.

Ogor also rebuffed insinuations by the APC caucus that only the speaker can reconvene the House.

Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, the APC House leader had told journalists on Monday, that based on the rules that only Tambuwal could reconvene the House from break.

Puncturing that claim yesterday, Ogor said the House could reconvene at any time “If there is serious need to do so provided leaders of political parties in the House agree on the matter,” adding Tambuwal, cannot preside over his case as contained in Section 32 of the 1999 Constitution.

He said should the House decide to reconvene at the moment based on Tambuwal’s decampment, that the deputy speaker, Chief Emeka Ihedioha would be the one to preside over proceedings, so that the Speaker would not influence the outcome.

Ogor stressed further “This is purely a reaction to APC leadership press conference yesterday (Monday). One of our rules refers to political parties, but not necessarily all parties. So, we have other political parties in the House. We need a quorum to meet. But if the leaders of the political parties wish, they can reconvene the House.”

He, however, rebuffed insinuations of any plan to reconvene the House affirming that his claim was only meant to clarify the assertions by the APC leader.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Akande-Adeola on her part yesterday gave insights into how the decision was made to adjourn House proceedings for more than one month after last Tuesday’s session. She said the decision was taken at principal officers’ weekly meeting held in the guest house of the deputy speaker.

According to her, her suggestions that a one month adjournment was too long was rebuffed by the other eight principal officers that were present at the meeting. She affirmed that contrary to suggestions that she was in the know of the speaker’s plot to defect, she said she was totally unaware of it.

She said the “long break” was to allow members settle issues in the constituencies and also carry out oversight before budget presentation, adding that Tambuwal’s defection took them unawares.

“The leadership met the day before at a meeting in the Deputy Speaker’s guest house. The meeting was set for 5pm. I was there at ten past five and I met only two members of the leadership. I waited till 6pm. No other person showed up. And I left and went back to my house.

“At about 6:30.pm, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were calling me simultaneously to please come back and attend the meeting. That was after several calls. I picked the Speaker’s call,” she said, adding that Tambuwal had sent a ‘Jeep’ to pick her, but she later used her ‘Honda’ car back to the meeting venue.

She said the leadership had asked her to liaise with the Senate Leader to find out when the Senate would adjourn and reconvene, but that based on her interaction, the Senate would adjourn for only a week, to return November 4.

“Everybody raised different issues why we cannot go for only one week especially members who have problems in their constituency, because of their tickets, and cannot be at two places at the same time.

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