Blame Game: PDP House Leaders Accuse Each Other of Deceit Over Tambuwal’s Defection
The Majority Leader of the House, Mulikat Akande-Adeola, has accused the Speaker, his Deputy, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, and the Deputy House Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, of playing a game on her over Tambuwal’s defection.
Tambuwal had cashed in on a motion for adjournment moved by Akande-Adeola and adjourned the House.
The majority leader came under heavy criticism from the PDP, which blamed her for allowing the speaker to defect under her nose and getting away with a lengthy adjournment of the House.
But Akande-Adeola told journalists at the National Assembly complex on Tuesday that she had no concrete evidence that Tambuwal was defecting until the announcement came abruptly on October 28.
She added that it was until he defected that it dawned on her that there was a game going on, which Tambuwal, Ihedioha and Ogor knew about but kept her in the dark.
Akande-Adeola said, “At that point in the chamber, I didn’t feel anyhow but after he made his statement then I knew that there was something that must have been planned that I was not aware of.
“Because if you know me very well, I deal with everyone on equal basis and I have a very open mind. I don’t think it would have been out of place for the speaker to even tell me he was moving . I don’t think that would have been out of place.
“The only thing would have been may be to ask him a few questions and all that. We are colleagues in the House. We represent different constituencies.
“What is good for him may not be good for me. He has his reasons for doing whatever he has done. But I would have expected that I was told no matter what. So, that is just it.”
She recalled that before the motion for adjournment was moved, she asked Ihedioha and Ogor if the speculated defection plan of Tambuwal was true but both officials brushed off her question.
Akande-Adeola revealed that a meeting of the leadership had taken place on October 27 where the issue of the appropriate date for the adjournment was discussed.
She claimed to have opposed the lengthy defection to December 3 because it did not tally with that of the Senate, which is November 4.
The leader added that she even reported to the meeting that December 3 was not realistic because the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, had already briefed her that the Senate would reconvene on November 4.
However, she said her position was overruled by the majority of the nine members of the leadership in attendance, including Tambuwal.
She admitted that the meeting eventually agreed on December 3 after everyone agreed that the period would be used for oversight duties and party primaries.
She clarified that Tambuwal’s defection was not an item on the agenda of the meeting, neither was mention of it made throughout the session.
The House Leader added, “After all the reasoning and everything, we agreed that first, members should go and work on their tickets and that the House will adjourn for the first two weeks to allow members conclude all the reports in their various committees. And the following two weeks will be for oversight functions towards the budget. That was what we agreed on.”
However, Akande-Adeola did not meet with Tambuwal. She went straight into her office after speaking with journalists while the Speaker was still busy at the sitting of one of the two committees.
When contacted, Ogor dismissed the allegation that he joined Tambuwal and Ihedioha to play a game on the leader over the defection.
He described the allegation as “strange” and called for proof.
“If I was aware, it became my responsibility to tell her. I was not aware (of the defection). He who alleges must show proof.”
Ogor also spoke on the views expressed by the APC caucus that only Tambuwal could reconvene the House.
He argued that the speaker’s consent was not required in this “peculiar” circumstance to reconvene the House because Tambuwal was the subject matter.
Ogor said, “The Speaker is an interested party and cannot be a judge in his own case.
“The principles of fair hearing demand that it is very difficult for him to be the one to reconvene the House.”
Ogor explained that the rules of the House recognised the existence of other minority parties outside the APC.
He claimed that the other parties and the PDP could reconvene the House without the consent of Tambuwal so long as a quorum of 120 members was formed.
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