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Tambuwal, Ihedioha others Retain Seats Despite Mass Defection of PDP Members

Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker of the House of Representatives; his deputy Emeka Ihedioha are to retain their seats despite the mass cross-carpeting from the ruling party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressive Congress (APC).

Speaker of Nigeria's House of Reps Aminu Tambuwal

Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Reps Aminu Tambuwal

Other beneficiaries of the House resolution are Mulikat Akande-Adeola, Majority Leader (PDP) and Leo Ogor, deputy Leader who were part of the presiding officers of the House.

Tambuwal is yet to make public declaration of his decision to defect to APC after the Sokoto Governor’s resolved to dump PDP for APC.

The resolution, which was reeled out in Abuja on Thursday by Sam Tsokwa, chairman House Committee on Rules and Business, dismissed any move to remove the presiding officers when the house resumes next week.

Recall that the Leadership of the ruling party had sought for court ruling to declare vacant the seats of all its members that defected to APC.

The exodus of 53 PDP members to APC however displaced PDP as the majority party in the House, with APC having the highest number of lawmakers in the Green Chamber.

Tsokwa who cautioned Bamanga Tukur-led PDP against distraction, maintained that PDP benefitted from cross carpeting since 1999, stressing that such development was in tandem with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

He said that there is no law that makes it mandatory for any party that has the majority membership to produce the Speaker and his Deputy.

His words:

“Like the open letters, we are also into a season of defections and rumours of defections from one Party to the other Party/ Cross carpeting, as it is commonly known, is neither a new phrase in democratic party lexicon nor a new phenomenon in Nigeria since 1999.

“Indeed it is on record that the ruling party has benefited from defection or cross carpeting of not fewer than four governors and numerous legislators to it since 1999.

“It is time, therefore, to advise that we stop overheating the polity by not unnecessarily fuelling the imaginary embers of defection-linked political crisis.

“Nigerians ought and, indeed, deserve to know that apart from the 1999 Constitution, there is no legislation in Nigeria against cross carpeting or defection.

“Indeed, the constitution subtly endorses cross carpeting or defection for which see sections 68(1) (g); 109(1) (g); 135 and 180 of the 1999 Constitution.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the leadership of the House of Representatives as embodied in the Presiding Officers emerged from the popularity of the candidates on one hand and the popular votes of members on the other and not strictly on party affiliation.

“Therefore, defection or no defection, the leadership of the House of Representatives remains intact, having enjoyed and is still enjoying the confidence of the members.

“The House has a date with history as encapsulated in its Legislative Agenda and this date it must keep faith with in the overall interest of Nigeria.”

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