Posted by News Express | 29 October 2014 | 3,046 times
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) have sharply disagreed over the fate of House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, who yesterday defected from the former to the latter. While PDP wants Tambuwal to resign as Speaker, APC says it won’t happen.
Shortly after Tambuwal announced his defection on the floor of the house, the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) met with the party’s leaders in the lower parliament. According to a statement by PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisah Metuh, “after a thorough consideration of the matter, the NWC came to a conclusion that the Hon. Speaker, as a responsible elected officer, knows full well what is needful and honourable of him since his new party is in the minority.”
Metuh added in the statement: “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.”
APC, however, rose to Tambuwal’s defence, describing it as a welcome development and arguing that it would give the opposition the opportunity to enthrone checks and balances in governance.
A THISDAY report quotes APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as saying: “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.”
Mohammed faulted those canvassing Tambuwal’s resignation, recalling that in 1983, the then National Party of Nigeria (NPN) did not have the majority in the National Assembly and so entered into an accord with the defunct Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP), and the ruling party at the time shared the leadership of both arms of the National Assembly.
“When the accord concordia broke down, the then Speaker, Chief Edwin Umezeoke, 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,” Mohammed said.
•Photo shows Speaker Tambuwal . . . yesterday at the House of Reps in Abuja.
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