Tambuwal’s Defection; Conclusion of the Matter BY Ezeani, Chukwunonso Elvis
I’m baffled that a few Nigerians exist that consider the defection of Mr. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal to the All Progressives’ Congress from the Peoples’ Democratic Party important. That Pro-APC media houses like T.V. Continental, P.M. News, The Punch, Radio Continental, Sahara Reporters, The Nation and a few others magnified the occasion of his defection is understandable but what I have failed to comprehend is why fellow Nigerians who should ordinarily pass as intelligent would commit reasonable time, energy and resources to debate the survival move of a man who hasn’t the lowest measure of integrity and character which are essential attributes of a leader.
Mr. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal is perfect example of how best to be a political prostitute; the kind that can also be traditionally referred to as “food is ready” politician. Those that are perfect at positioning themselves to be beneficiaries of the proverbial national cake but would never agree to bake one. Few months to the 2007 elections, he defected to the Democratic Peoples’ Party alongside Attahiru Bafarawa from Buharis’ All Nigeria Peoples’ Party that sponsored his election into the House of Representatives in 2003. When it became clear to him that the concept of automatic ticket was alien to the DPP at that time, he swung back to the ANPP abandoning Attahiru Bafarawa to his fate in the DPP. Once back to the ANPP, he hid under the danshiki of Aliyu Wamakko for survival until his master headed towards the Peoples’ Democratic Party. Like a less privileged that hasn’t a choice, he followed suit. This is not the conduct of a leader who is worth his salt.
Few months ago on this series, I discussed a matter that made it necessary for me to give an account of how Mr. Tambuwal emerged speaker. In that note, I made mention of the role the owner and holy father of the APC Bola Ahmed Tinubu played in his emergence as a result of which I advised the leadership of my party to learn to carry on as if the man Tambuwal does not exist as I felt that it would hurt to count him as loyal only to realize at the 11th hour that he is just another errand boy of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as he once was to Attahiru Bafarawa and Aliyu Wamakko.
When on the 28th of October 2014, he formally defected to the APC; I was relieved because with the 2015 general election at hand, no serious political party can afford to have in its inner caucus a man with the antecedents of Mr. Tambuwal. As a principal officer of the House of Representatives during the period when Rt. Hon Oladimeji Saburi Alani – Bankole and Usman Bayero Nafada were speaker and deputy speaker respectively, I had frowned at the decision of the EFCC to quiz just Oladimeji and Bayero on account of a petition written by Barr. Festus Keyamo a confirmed member of the APC on account of inflated contracts leaving aside Mr. Tambuwal. Perhaps I should assume that it is a mere coincidence that Barr. Keyamo and Mr. Tambuwal are now in the same gang.
Members of the All Progressives’ Congress are masters in the art of negative propaganda. When their interests are injured, they deploy their collection of toxic propaganda without considering the consequences it may have on Nigeria. Some few weeks ago, I was formally notified by a friend and fellow Nigerian resident in Sweden that an investment opportunity we had persistently labored to bring to Nigeria would not materialize. Our partners, an exquisite furniture company prominent in the Scandinavian have declined to do business with both Nigeria and Nigerians in Nigeria till further notice. That organization admitted that news reaching them from Nigeria courtesy the APC paints a picture of a Nigeria that is on the brink of collapse on account of massive theft and corruption. They even claimed that the military wing of the APC – Boko Haram is on the verge of over running Abuja and would do so any moment from now. Such is the benefit Nigeria has enjoyed from the APC.
This is the kind of propaganda that has been deployed since the occasion of Mr. Tambuwal’s homecoming. First an attempt was made to create the impression that Nigeria is a lawless country but they forget to reckon with the truth that extreme measures may be required to contain extreme situations. Like in the Holy Bible wherein it was emphasized that judgment will start from the alter. I consider our legislative institutions as place where judgment must start in this very simple matter.
The 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in its 68th Section, sub-section 1, clause G explicitly states the conditions under which a member may defect to a political party other than that which sponsored his election to the National Assembly. This is the first test of integrity Mr. Tambuwal flatly failed as his defection cannot be said to be based on any of the conditions outlined by our laws as a result of which he should have resigned his membership of the House of Representatives the day he defected to the APC or immediately afterwards. Surprisingly, the APC that seeks to be the face of change strongly considers it unimportant to uphold the dictates of our laws in this circumstance. Now I hear everyone is headed towards the courts for interpretation of what they call “relevant sections of the constitution”. What a dangerous precedence on a basis of crass lawlessness.
Granted, some Nigerians and a few pocket lawyers may have cleverly cited some instances in the past wherein the PDP benefitted from defections but believers in this school of thought have failed to disclose the state of the political parties from where the defectors at that time joined the PDP. They also failed to refer to those cases on an individual basis as they occurred because our laws as they relate to defections have not changed lately. I fear for our democratic institutions because unless acts of sabotage against our constitutions as this are severely punished, the advancement of our democracy may remain work in progress for a long time to come.
A dubious twist the opposition has cleverly sold Nigerians goes thus “Tambuwal was selected by his colleagues; only they can replace him.” Another joker they unleashed goes thus “The speaker can be in the opposition for so long as he enjoys the confidence of his colleagues.” While several partially enlightened Nigerians have swallowed this pill, a few others including this writer who is familiar with the position of the law on matters like this have strongly differed.
To start with, Mr. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal currently represents Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency of Sokoto State, Nigeria, a position he occupies by virtue of his membership of the Peoples’ Democratic Party which sponsored him for the election that returned him as winner. If this fact is anything to go by, it is only logical to deduce that the winner of that election was never Mr. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal but the Peoples’ Democratic Party. If this truth is anything to go by, it only adds up to conclude that the person Waziri Tambuwal was only a representative of his constituency on the platform Peoples’ Democratic Party in the House of Representatives. Now that he considers it necessary to preserve his political career by joining the APC; it becomes necessary that he releases to the PDP that which belongs to it.
This is not an argument of who can be speaker or not. This is not meant to determine whose responsibility it is to elect a speaker. It doesn’t matter if his security details have been withdrawn or not. As a matter of fact, it is immaterial to me if he now drives himself round Abuja as my friends in the APC want me to believe. This is simply an outright demand that he vacates his seat NOT AS SPEAKER of the House of Representatives but as A MEMBER of the Federal House of Representatives elected on the platform of the PDP; he may hold on to the post of speaker in his bathroom afterwards. This is the right and only way to go; anything short of this will amount to a deliberate promotion of impunity and illegality backed by the opposition. Our laws are sacrosanct and must be seen to be above every Nigerian and attempt to subject any portion of the Nigerian Constitution to interpretation by the courts will amount to an academic exercise clearly undertaken with a dubious intent to abuse, ridicule and injure our judiciary.
Ezeani, Chukwunonso Elvis is the South West Zonal Director; Communications, Research & Strategy of the Peoples’ Democratic Party National Youth Frontier. He can be reached via: @NonsoEzeani1
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