PDP Crisis: Plot To Impeach Tambuwal Thickens
But Tambuwal is allegedly not sleeping over the development as he had purportedly deployed his foot soldiers to move in and nip the plot in the bud. The first indication to this was the sudden adjournment of the session on Thursday, barely two days after the House resumed from its two-month-old holidays. They are billed to resume plenary after the October 1 independence anniversary celebration.
Though the speaker premised the reason for the adjournment on the fact that members would have time to scrutinise the 2013 budget and undertake oversight trips, sources in the House said it was a move to create room for manoeuvre and troubleshooting.
A top member of the House confirmed that, indeed, a handful of lawmakers, particularly those in the mainstream PDP, are enlisting in droves, while some elements in the opposition said to be disenchanted with the speaker are showing interest but playing hide-and-seek game for now. As it stands, the source added, there is a sharp division in the opposition that used to be the power base of the speaker.
It was learnt that some top goons in the presidency are channelling resources to effect the change through a governor from one of the north-central states.
The governor, it was alleged, began deploying the funds in dollars and in some other strong foreign currencies about two weeks ago. The strategy, it was further learnt, was three-pronged: one is to thwart the speaker’s alleged sympathy for the splinter PDP by making the House ungovernable whenever he attempts to bring their matter to the House; the second is to push for outright impeachment after weakening his political base, which is the opposition; and, lastly, to cause mayhem in the event of anybody introducing any motion to impeach President Jonathan.
A source said the speaker’s men uncovered the plot to destabilise the House but failed to factor in the possibility of the “new PDP” as the immediate springboard to kick-start the process.
A member of the House who pleaded anonymity disclosed that, indeed, money was flying around, but doubted that the ultimate aim was to impeach the speaker. “The fear is not to impeach the speaker because that will be pretty hard; but the major fear is the groundswell plot to make the House ungovernable as was the case during the former speaker Mrs Patricia Etteh’s saga.”
The plot, a source said, is scary because of the dimension it may assume on the floor. The plotters know very well that it is a futile mission to impeach Tambuwal or even Jonathan, but the approach of igniting crisis on the floor could polarise the members along different cleavages that could lead to a prolonged stalemate, the source added.
It was this fear, according to a source, that made the minority whip, Samaila Kawu (APC, Kano), raise the alarm penultimate week, alleging there was a plot to destabilise the House and cause mayhem using the raging conflict in the ruling PDP. He cautioned that what was happening in the PDP was an internal party matter that should be better settled at the party level and should have nothing to do with the House of Representatives.
An opposition member of the House who would not want his name in print said they were put aback when Tambuwal failed to heed Hon. Kawu’s submission and decided to introduce the issue of the visit of the Baraje faction of the PDP to the floor. “We considered it a tactical error and we openly objected to it on the floor when he read the letter.,” he said. “Party crisis should not be introduced in a House populated by people from different political parties and that, indeed, armed his party members whom, we learnt, are being positioned to thwart any plot to impeach the president as being speculated in the media. The speaker got that signal and backtracked. I can assure you that nobody can impeach the speaker. He is loved. In the same way, no plot to impeach the president.”
The House, apparently to maintain its usual cohesiveness, denied the plot. Its spokesman, Zakary Mohammed, said the House was not aware of the speculations, but added that it was not disturbed because the power to remove the speaker rests with all members of the House and not just a few lawmakers.
The House, he said, was not contemplating taking any action against its leadership because it had no cause to do so. Notwithstanding, Zakari admitted reports of financial inducement of members to destabilise the leadership, but insisted that the House had no hand in the said plot.
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