The Punch: Why Tambuwal Shunned PDP NEC Meeting —Investigation
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, shunned last Thursday’s National Executive Committee meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party to evade the decision of the party to endorse President Goodluck Jonathan as its sole 2015 presidential candidate, The PUNCH has learnt.
Findings showed that Tambuwal was in Abuja throughout Thursday and was even meeting with the national leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association at the National Assembly while the NEC meeting was going on in the city.
In the past, whenever he avoided major PDP meetings, excuses such as being out of the country or attending an important event elsewhere were givený by his office to explain his absence.
However, The PUNCH gathered that this time round, Tambuwal was not only duly informed of the meeting but he was also very much in Abuja.
National Assembly sources confided in The PUNCH on Sunday that Tambuwal did not attend the meeting because he already reportedly knew that the agenda was about 2015 politics and the endorsement of Jonathan.
He was said to have claimed that the country was facing serious security challenges, particularly the threat by Boko Haram insurgents and the abduction of the 200 Chibok schoolgirls, which should be the main concerns of government for now and not politics.
One of the sources spoke further, “Tambuwal knew that there would be a NEC meeting; he was in Abuja all day. He also already knew that the agenda was about 2015 and how to endorse the President as the sole PDP candidate.
“However, he felt some of these things are being rushed in beating the gun for electioneering, when the country is seriously battling insecurity.
“People residing in a whole section of the country (North-East) have not known peace for many months; school children have been abducted and their whereabouts unknown.
“The Speaker is arguing that this is not the time to abandon governance for politics.”
Another source added that Tambuwal’s speech when he received the NBA’s leadership, led by the President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh, SAN, was indirectly referring to the NEC decision.
“Did you listen to him when he met with the NBA?
“What did you think he was talking about?” The source asked our correspondent.
Tambuwal had urged the NBA to blow the whistle on corruption and to prevail on politicians to stop flouting the electoral laws.
He had said, “The problem now is that governance is suffering at various levels as many elected public office holders are already in politicking mood.
But the PDP caucus at the House said it was immaterial whether Tambuwal attended the NEC meeting or not, so long as he remained a member of the party.
The caucus said people should stop reading meanings into the speaker’s absence at the meeting, as it did not remove the “fact that the resolutions of NEC are binding on him.”
Deputy House Majority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, who gave the position of the caucus, argued that any decision of NEC taken at a meeting, where a quorum was formed was binding on all members.
“The issue of our Speaker not attending is not important. Has he told you he is no longer a member of the PDP?
“If he is still a member of the PDP and a member of NEC, the decision of NEC is binding on him; so, drop the speculation”, Ogor added.
Speculations have heightened lately that it is only a matter of time for Tambuwal to announce his defection to the All Progressives Congress.
The PUNCH tried without success on Sunday to get the Speaker or his office to comment on the matter.
Several calls and text messages by our correspondent were not answered or replied.
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