Following the speculations that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, may soon dump the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), there are indications that two prominent members of the parliament are waiting in the wings to replace him.
The two members are the Leader of the House, Rt. Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola and Rt. Hon. Bashir Adamu.
Although there have been several denials from the Speaker’s media handlers that Tambuwal has yet to make up his minds on his next political moves, his open romance with the leadership of the opposition APC has indicated that his stay in the ruling party may just be a matter of days.
Peoples Daily had it from the grapevine that the leadership of the PDP, which has the clear majority in the House, has perfected plans not to give Tambuwal the luxury of time to conclude his ongoing consultations as it plans to induce its members to begin impeachment proceedings against him.
A source from the Wadata House headquarters of the PDP disclosed that a juicy arrangement had been made to lure the PDP lawmakers in the House to move against the Speaker whom they have begun to consider disloyal owing to his undisguised romance with the opposition.
To this extent, it was learnt that a camp loyal to the Speaker had perfected the plans to support Hon. Bashir Adamu, current Chairman of the House Committee on Defence. Adamu represents Kazaure, Gwiwa, Roni, Yankwashi federal constituency of Jigawa state.
An impeccable source in the House who craved anonymity disclosed that Adamu, who is a close political ally to Tambuwal, already has the blessings of the Speaker should he decide to throw in the towel.
Another source in the House however disclosed that the party was disposed to returning the Leader, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, who contested the Speakership with Tambuwal in 2011 but lost.
The source said returning Mulikat as the Speaker, even for a day, would have a soothing relief on the PDP leadership which had been constantly harangued by its supporters from the South west over a perceived imbalance in the polity.
The leadership of the PDP has begun moves to lobby its members not to repeat what happened in 2011 when the members revolted against its leadership to vote Tambuwal against its directives.
The source in the ruling party disclosed that the PDP lawmakers could be lobbied with money to back Adeola’s candidature and it was reasoned that this would work considering the fact that they are in dire need of every kobo they could get to finance their return ticket to the parliament.
Meanwhile, the PDP Caucus in the House has said that it will do nothing about the alleged defection bid of the Speaker until it actually happens.
Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Leo Ogor (PDP Delta), said so long as Tambuwal has not informed the caucus that he was about to defect to another political party, it would be wrong to move against him over “a mere speculation about defection.”
“Why should we move against the Speaker or attack his person over speculation? That will be placing the cart before the horse. Mr. Speaker is a full member of the PDP. He has never told the caucus that he wants to leave the PDP. He is a PDP member,” he said.
Asked whether the caucus would initiate impeachment proceedings against Tambuwal, should he formally abandon the PDP, Ogor replied, “When we get to that bridge, we will certainly cross it”
Reacting to the new development, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal through his Special Adviser on Media, Imam Imam, described the report as speculation with no iota of truth. “As far as we are concerned, this is a mere speculation and I don’t react on mere speculations”, he said.
Equally reacting, House Deputy Minority Leader, Rep Sulaiman Kawu Sumaila (APC Kano), who is a close ally of the Soeaker though in the opposition APC, said, “it is not the PDP members only that voted for the speaker; it is the majority of the House both PDP and APC members. Therefore, PDP has no right over Tambuwal.”
He pointed out that rule 68 of the House has stated clearly that it is only the Speaker who has the right to declare his seat vacant, and the rule also said that members should elect their leaders among themselves not by virtue of his party.
Commenting on the alleged plot to remove the Speaker, Kawu said “the only impeachable offence that could lead to the removal of Speaker is when he commits a gross misconduct against the state as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution as amended, and this, he said, will require two-third of the majority of the House.
“Tambuwal is free to join any political party he so wishes. Already, there was a similar case in court and the court has ruled that the status quo should remain. So, it is baseless for anyone to try to move for an impeachment of Mr. Speaker,” he said.
Another lawmaker of the House, Rep Aliyu Sani Madaki (APC Kano), also said the PDP has no right to declare the seat of the Speaker vacant. “Constitutionally, the only person who could declare the Speaker’s seat vacant is the speaker himself. As far as we know, Tambuwal remains the speaker of the House of Representatives.
Efforts to reach Rep Bashir Adamu failed as all his phone lines were switched off as at the time of the press.