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Tambuwal yet to apply for police protection
Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal

Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, is yet to meet police condition that he must apply for police protection as the Sokoto State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress,The PUNCH learnt on Tuesday.

The Nigeria Police Force headquarters had said that the speaker must first apply for police personnel before he could be given any.

But, our correspondent learnt that Tambuwal would not to apply for police cover, having reasoned that the condition was a move to “further ridicule his person and office.”

Also, the speaker was quoted to have said that he no longer trusted the police to guard him.

One senior National Assembly official, who is very close to the speaker, boasted to our correspondent that Tambuwal would “never” comply with the police condition.

The official said that the condition was part of a grand plot to humiliate the Sokoto APC governorship candidate.

“Besides, the speaker doesn’t need them around him anymore. We have benefited a lot without having them around to monitor our movements. It is about trust.

“So, we won’t apply and there is no regret over that decision whatsoever,” the National Assembly official said.

Investigations revealed that Tambuwal had been emboldened by the APC caucus at the House, backing his decision to ignore the police.

Members of the caucus now hold to the belief that God gives security and not the police or any other security agency.

The Minority Leader of the House and Leader of the APC caucus, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, confirmed this position when The PUNCH sought his views.

“Tambuwal does not need police protection. His God and his people have been and will continue to be his protection,” Gbajabiamila said.

He, however, added that the “point must be made” that the number four citizen of the country was denied his official right to police protection.

“It is not about what he needs now but about his rights and the law. Not as a governorship candidate but as the number four citizen and head of an arm of government, he has a right to police protection and that right cannot be taken away by another arm of government,” the APC leader stated.

Chairman, House Committee on Justice, Mr. Ali Ahmad, described as “unfortunate”, the “drama playing out over the speaker’s police security personnel.”

He alleged that it was more a case of “impunity “by the authorities to continue to deny Tambuwal police cover.

“With the atmosphere of insecurity pervading the nation, he needs adequate security. But, what can he do in the face of multi-faceted, barefaced impunity?” Ahmad asked.

When contacted on Tuesday, the speaker’s office gave the official position that Tambuwal was already in court over the withdrawal of his police personnel and would not want to join issues with the police.

His Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Imam Imam, told our correspondent that in spite of a court decision that status quo should be maintained, the police had continued to deny the speaker protection.

Imam said, “We don’t want to join issues with the police on this matter any further.

“There is a court order saying status quo should be maintained but they chose to flout the order.”

On its part, the Peoples Democratic Party caucus in the House said it supported the restoration of the speaker’s security details.

“I believe he should be given his security personnel. The speaker deserves police protection,” Deputy House Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, told The PUNCH.

It will be recalled that the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, had withdrawn Tambuwal’s police personnel, following his defection from the PDP to the APC on October 28 last year.

Citing Section 68 (1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the IG claimed that because the PDP was not in crisis, Tambuwal had lost his seat by defecting to the APC.

The speaker had challenged the IG’s action in court but the matter is awaiting disposal.

However, after Tambuwal emerged as the governorship candidate of the APC, the force headquarters said it would give him police protection, this time not as the speaker but as a governorship candidate.

Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Ojukwu, had on December 5 said, “The police will do the needful in protecting Alhaji Tambuwal and all other contestants.”

However, a week later on December 14, the police made a U-turn, saying that they could only provide security for Tambuwal if he made a request.

Ojukwu explained that the police had a lot of work to do and would not go about begging to protect people who did not ask for it.

He said, “It is the duty of the police to provide protection for all aspirants but they have to apply to be given police operatives.

“We have enough work on our hands and we cannot be running after candidates who need our protection. All candidates must apply for police protection.”

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