How Tambuwal Tricked Me To Move The Motion For Adjournment Day He Decamped To APC- Majority Leader, Adeola-Akande
Under the heat and pressure from the leadership of the ruling PDP and the presidency, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Mulikat Adeola-Akande ysterday fought hard to distance herself from the decision to adjourn House sitting till December 3.
Adeola-Akande who moved the motion to adjourn the House sitting to December 3 said today that she was tricked into moving the motion without knowing that there was a plan by the Speaker, Hon Aminu Tambuwal to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC). The lawmaker was said to have come under serious reprimand from the PDP and the presidency for allowing Tambuwal fool the party and almost getting away with it.
In her bid to exonerate herself from any complicity, Adeola-Akande at a news briefing in her conference room at the National Assembly complex, Abuja Tuesday, said Tambuwal and some other principal officers of the House betrayed her.
Narrating how the decision to adjourn House sitting till December 3 was arrived at, the Majority Leader said “I heard Hon. Osagie saying on NTA that the Leader moved the motion for adjournment and from the way he said, it was like something that was done unilaterally. As you all know, it is my job as the Leader of the House to move motions for adjournment. But that adjournment that was moved on that particular day is not a usual adjournment. Why I said this is that because of the number of days for which the House adjourned.
“Prior to this, the leadership met the day before at a meeting in the Deputy Speaker’s guest house. The meeting was set for 5 pm. I was there at ten past five and I met only two members of the leadership. I waited till 6pm. No other person showed up. And I left and went back to my house. At about 6:30pm, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were calling me simultaneously to please come back and attend the meeting. That was after several calls.
“I picked the Speaker’s call and he said, Leader, where are you and I said I am in the house. I am not coming back there. I am tired. I just got back from a trip. I have been there for over 45 minutes and he said, please, please, we are all here. Come back. And I said my driver has even left. He said , ok, I will send you a car and a driver to pick you. And I even jokingly said ok, if you send the car, I won’t return the car to you. So, when the driver came, I came outside the house and I found my driver outside. So, I said you came with a jeep? I don’t usually like entering jeeps. I entered my Honda and we both drove back to the venue of the meeting.
“Before we adjourned that Tuesday, they had asked me to liaise with the Senate Leader to find out how long they will be going for. That is the senate. As you know, we always adjourn and come back at the same time. I liaised with him and the senate leader told me they will be adjourning on Tuesday to come back on the 4th of November which was the following Tuesday, today. So. I said Ok. “When I got to the meeting, I met all the members of the leadership except for Hon. Leo. and I asked where is my Deputy? They said he was on his way from the airport. And he later joined us. The only other person who wasn’t there was Hon. Ahmed Murtkar who sent a text that he wasn’t feeling well. So, nine of us were present at the meeting. And the Speaker said this is a one item agenda meeting about the adjournment that we are going to have. Leader, what did the senate leader say when you contacted him? I said the Senate leader said they will be adjourning for one week from Tuesday till the following Tuesday which was the 4th of November.
“At that point, everybody raised different issues why we cannot go for only one week; ranging from members have problems in their constituency, because of their tickets, they cannot be at two places at the same time. There will be no time. How many have you seen in the chambers lately.? All sorts of reasons given. And I said what will be the moral justification for us to go that long? And what will the public perception since we just came back from a long vacation? I raised the issue of the MTEF. I raised the issue of budget. They said no problem. On MTEF, the report can even be laid tomorrow. There and then, they called the Chairman, Committee on Finance. But I would know truly, if the chairman, Finance was on the phone. What we were told after the phone call was that he will present the budget tomorrow. And if you check the Order Paper, the report was there but the chairman was not on the floor. So, the report was not taken on that day. So, after all the reasoning and everything, we agreed that ok, first, members should go and work on their tickets and that the House will adjourn for the first two weeks, let members conclude all the reports in the various committees. And the following two weeks will be for oversight functions towards the budget. That was what we agreed.
“On this fateful day, we got to the chambers and I am sure that if you were there, I got in late. I came in after them because I wasn’t really looking at my time. While we were in the chambers, if you check the Order Paper, you would notice that there is a particular time for announcement usually. And after the announcement, we went into the Order of the day and nothing was said about whether the speaker was moving or not. At the meeting we had, nothing was said about that. Nothing was mentioned whether he was moving or not even though it was in the air, in the media, everybody was talking about it. And since it was not announced at that particular time, I turned to my Deputy and I said, Leo, is the Speaker not moving again? And he said, he is not doing it again. That’s what he told me. And I am saying this without fear of anybody.
“And not quite five minutes, another member came to me and said to me, Leader what is going to happen? I spoke to the Speaker this morning and he told me he is moving today. And I turned to my Deputy again. I said Leo, somebody just told me the Speaker said he is moving today. He said hold on, hold on. I want to listen to what the person who was on the floor was saying at that particular time.
“It got to the time of consideration. I even got up and told the Deputy Speaker who was sitting beside me, I said I want to go to the Clerk’s office to have a drink of coffee and I will come back since I don’t have anything. And if you remember even my own Bill on that day too was stood down. Hon. Seconte raised an issue about the bill and the Speaker called us to his chair to come and discuss certain things. And he said why don’t you just leave it? And I said, ok, no problem. I went back to my seat. When the deputy speaker was presiding over the Committee of the Whole, I got up to go to the Clerk’s office, he told me, leader, please sit down. We will soon finish. I went to meet him and said I want to go to Clerk’s office to have a drink, he said no, no, just wait. We will soon finish.
“So, after the whole thing and I was hearing from different quarters that oh! It was Leader who moved it unilaterally and all that, I thought it was necessary to clear the air on this. I have integrity and I am a very, very honourable person. And I will not say anything that has not happened. I don’t fear anybody. I fear only Almighty God.
“And at the end of the session, the Speaker said, Leader move for adjournment. I still tuned to the Deputy Speaker and said, is it as agreed? He said yes. And I got up and moved the adjournment. And he said Leo, second and he seconded. And it was at that point that the Speaker now made the statement about his defection. I wouldn’t know what the leader has done that is out of the ordinary. It is my responsibility to move for adjournment. There is no way I would have moved that adjournment if we did not agree on this and this you can cross check from all the other members if they want to be truthful to themselves and that was exactly what happened.
“So I need people to know because people who know me have been calling me and asking me: why should you do this or why did you do this? I think this will put paid to all these questions.
“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 that Leader, I am moving tomorrow. 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 me may not be good for him. 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.”
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