There are indications that the Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal is lobbying members to ensure his smooth defection to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC. Tambuwal’s likely defection next Thursday has seen him meet moderate members of his current party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to escape impeachment as speaker. The PDP, in the majority, has 205 members as against APC 151, while Accord and Labour Parties have two and one members respectively. To waddle into a safety net, Tambuwal requires the backing of at least 240 members, which also constitute the constitutionally two-third majority that could remove a speaker from office. Section 50(2)(c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), reads that the Senate President or his counterpart in the House of Representatives can be removed by a call supported by two-thirds of voting members. In Tambuwal’s case, the arithmetic is 240 of the total 360 House members.
Tambuwal’s last Monday’s attendance of a key APC meeting in Sokoto State, inspired by his state Governor Aliyu Wammako, alongside other party top notches, fuelled belief his continued stay in the PDP was merely a matter of time.
In Tambuwal’s defence, Imam Iman, the speaker’s media aide, said the meeting was about the future of the state and nothing unusual, especially as it include non-APC members. In his statement, Iman said the PDP had become contemptuous of the speaker, who it left out of a reconciliation parley led by PDP Board of Trustees Chairman, Tony Annenih, to the state, last Monday.