Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, may have shelved his speculated plan to quit the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Daily has learnt.
It was widely rumoured in the last nine months that the Speaker was perfecting plans to join the APC as he was said to be eyeing the party’s presidential ticket.
The Speaker has held series of meetings with chieftains of the opposition party in both Lagos and Abuja, giving rise to speculations that he may have finally resolved to join them.
Besides, some of the 37 members of the House of Representatives who defected from the PDP to the APC late last year had confided in newsmen after their defection, that it was only a matter of time before Tambuwal joins them in their new platform.
Again, Tambuwal’s body language was very suggestive of such moves.
For instance, he had been quite critical of the PDP led administration at the federal level, capping such criticisms with a statement on December 9, last year that President Jonathan was encouraging corruption in the country.
This, among similar actions of the Speaker, led to a cold war between the Presidency and the House of Representatives.
More so, the House of Reps Speaker tactically avoided all the seven rallies staged by the PDP this year, trying to boost its support base across the country, including the one held in his home state, Sokoto.
The others were held in Bauchi, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Kano and Kwara states.
The political estrangement between the Speaker and his ruling party came to a head recently during the Presidential Media Chat, when President Jonathan took a swipe at Tambuwal’s House, accusing it of politicizing all national issues, no matter how important.
However, we learnt late last week that Tambuwal may have finally resolved to drop his plan to quit the PDP for the APC. The Speaker, according to sources, met with President Jonathan, during which “they mend fences”.
One of our sources said the Speaker’s action may have followed a ‘tightening of the noose’ around him (Tambuwal) by Aso Rock’.
“The Speaker may have come to the realisation that his hope of getting the APC presidential ticket may eventually be a mirage, considering the concentration of presidential ‘materials’ currently in the party.
To avoid losing on both ends, he has to retreat and pursue his state governorship ambition”, said another source.
According to the source, Tambuwal has now resolved to re-launch his bid for the Sokoto state governorship seat after he had been widely speculated to have “relinquished the position to Senator Umaru Dahiru Tambuwal”.
Recent unfolding events in the Green Chamber seem to corroborate the fact that Tambuwal’s leadership may have mended fences with the Presidency and the ruling party.
The speed with which the president’s request for the extension of state of emergency for another six months in the troubled states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe was granted by the House came as a surprise to many Nigerians.
Also, it was learnt that Tambuwal has ordered the suspension of the probe into the N10 billion jet charter scandal surrounding the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, as a measure to appease not only the Presidency but the entire leadership of the PDP.
But when contacted on the matter yesterday, the Special Adviser on Media to the Speaker, Malam Imam Imam, said the rumour of his principal’s plot dumping the ruling party was only in the realm of speculations as he had never told anyone he was leaving the PDP for the opposition APC.
Imam said: “That one was speculation and you know we don’t comment on speculations. He had never told anyone that he is dumping his party (PDP)”.