2015: Tambuwal’s Defection Comment Unsettles Presidency

House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal’s political hazy future has unsettled the Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

There were fears yesterday in the PDP that Tambuwal is likely to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

It was also learnt that the ruling party has not foreclosed “plans” to sack Tambuwal if he switches over to APC, after making a “code statement”.

The PDP has used the ongoing vacation of the National Assembly to woo Senators and members of the House of Representatives to secure a comfortable majority in the two chambers.

But it was learnt last night that Tambuwal has kept his game plan to his chest. His decision on 2015 may come be in the last minute.

There are rumours that he may either vie for a presidential ticket or return to Sokoto State for the governorship poll.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the Speaker created unease in the Presidency and PDP when he declared that “Nigeria deserves good leadership in 2015”.

Also, when responding to a question on whether he would defect to APC or not, he simply said: “Kowa ni tsuntsu kukan gidan su yake yi”, which means “birds of a feather flock together”.

Some Presidency and PDP chiefs, it was said yesterday, regard Tambuwal’s comments as “disloyal, lack of faith in the ruling party and a tacit opposition to the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan”.

A highly-placed source said: “The comments of the Speaker have caused some disquiet in the government and at the party level.

“Some forces in the Presidency and PDP considered Tambuwal’s comments as “anti-party” and lack of support for Jonathan’s re-election bid.

“They are also claiming that the Speaker has confirmed the suspicion that he has always had sympathy for the opposition.

“These forces believe it would be a slight on the ruling party for the number four to defect to APC.”

Asked of the next line of action, the source said: “I think the PDP may not allow Tambuwal to beat it to the game. Once he moves to APC, he may need to vacate the office. This is why the party is already consolidating its hold on the National Assembly.”

The PDP is wooing more lawmakers in the National Assembly, especially members of the House of Representatives.

The party is determined to have “a comfortable majority” in the House of Representatives to take charge.

“PDP has realised that it is a bit legally difficult to sack some of its members who defected to APC from the National Assembly. The process will have to go from the lower court to the Supreme Court.

“The alternative is to ‘hijack’ the National Assembly, especially the House, and dictate its pace.”

A source in Tambuwal’s camp said: “We know the Presidency and the PDP have been uncomfortable since the Speaker delivered his coded message.

“Their attack dogs have been abusing us in some online media since Sunday. But they have forgotten that democracy is about people and what they want at any particular time.

“At the appropriate time, the Speaker will make his plans for 2015 known to his constituents and associates.”

Pressed to know the office the Speaker might seek in 2015, the source added: “Tambuwal has kept his joker to himself. Not even his confidants can say his mindset.

“He has some options which I think he won’t disclose until the last minutes to the primaries for 2015 poll. At best, you can say he is consulting.”

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