Sunday, 16 June 2013

PDP May Suspend Tambuwal Over APC



There are strong indications that the Peoples Democratic Party may soon suspend the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, over his association with the opposition All Progressives Congress.
Investigations on Friday revealed that the party’s National Working Committee had started compiling a list of what a stalwart who spoke to this newspaper described as Tambuwal’s “many sins.”
In addition to compiling the list, the party has placed the Speaker under watch to monitor his “future anti-party activities.”
Our correspondents gathered that senior party officials were displeased with the Speaker’s “open romance with the APC” and his presence at a rally organised by the suspended Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko, on Wednesday.
The PDP had recently suspended Wamakko and his Rivers State counterpart, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, for indiscipline.
Wamakko was suspended a forthnight ago for allegedly disrespecting the PDP National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur.
At the rally organised by Wamakko in Sokoto on Wednesday, Tambuwal had described Wamakko’s suspension as unconstitutional.
The Speaker said the suspension was “unconstitutional and (a) self-serving decision taken through undemocratic means.”
The stalwart, who is a member of the PDP NWC, spoke to one of our correspondents in confidence, and said the leadership of the party considered the Speaker’s speech as an act of indiscipline.
He added that Tambuwal’s appearance and the speech at the rally were considered by the PDP hierarchy as the climax of his anti-party activities.
He stated that the party would have overlooked Tambuawal’s “latest sin,” but decided to move against him because of his “growing misdeeds.”
Among the listed anti-party activities, was his emergence as the Speaker of the House of Representatives two years ago.
The party had tipped the current Majority Leader of the House, Mrs. Mulikat Adeola, for the post and had asked Tambuwal to step aside.
But Tambuwal, who had the support of the opposition and some PDP members, went ahead to contest the election and eventually defeated his party’s candidate.
The party source, who spoke to SUNDAY PUNCH, said, “The party leaders were angry with Tambuawal’s presence at Wamakko’s rally.
“He has been placed under watch and any moment from now he may be suspended. His many sins are being compiled. Tambuwal has never hidden his disdain for the party. His emergence as Speaker was against the party’s wish.”
There have been reports that the APC is considering Tambuawal as its presidential candidate in 2015.
The party is also said to be angry with the Speaker because of his presence at the launch of Opon Imo, the initiative of the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, in Osogbo.
Tambuwal was said to have lauded Aregbesola, who is a member of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria, for his achievements in the last three years.
The Osun State PDP chapter, in its reaction to the Speaker’s comment, had urged Tukur to correct him.
The state PDP Chairman, Mr. Ganiyu Olaoluwa, said Tambuwal’s comment was unbecoming of a national leader of the party.
Olaoluwa, who condemned Tambuwal’s visit to the state, noted that the actions of the Speaker raised posers as to whether he “is a member of the PDP or a supporter of Aregbesola.”
When contacted on the PDP’s moves to suspend Tambuwal, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said that the ruling party would refrain from “washing its dirty linen in public.”
He said it would rely more on its internal mechanisms in dealing with issues.
In an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, Metuh said, “He (Tambuwal) is a product of this party as a matter of fact; he is the number four citizen of this country.
“The Speaker of the House of Representatives is not under investigations and we are not aware of anything like that.
“If there are any issues, we have internal party mechanisms to deal with them.”
On the lingering crisis between the party and the suspended governor of Sokoto State, he said the party’s internal affairs would no longer be the subject of public discuss.
Metuh said, “He (Wamakko) is a governor elected on the platform of the party.
“Having been so privileged to occupy such a position, we cannot be exchanging words with him on the pages of the newspapers.
“If we have any disciplinary problem, we leave it at that. Do not forget that he is a leader of the party in spite of everything.
“It is not for us to be washing our dirty linen in public. Whatever it is, we will handle it the way the party is supposed to handle it.”
When contacted, Tambuwal described any alleged moves by the PDP to suspend him as “speculative.”
His Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Imam Imam, who spoke on his behalf, said that he would not comment on speculations.
He said, “Any talk about the PDP suspending the Speaker is speculative. We won’t react to speculation; this is pure speculation. That is our position.”
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