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Defection: Tambuwal carpets APC for demanding Saraki’s resignation

Sokoto Govt. sets up panel to review Tambuwal’s appointments

Aminu Tambuwal, has described as hypicrotal calls by the All Progressives Congress (APC), asking Senate President Bukola Saraki to resign from office following his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Tambuwal, the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives and Sokoto State governor who cross carpeted from PDP to APC in 2014 without vacating his seat, said the constitution does not recognise the election of Presiding and Principal Officers on the basis of party leanings.

He wondered why the All Progressives Congress would speak from both sides of the mouth by applauding his defection in the build up to the last general election.

It would be recalled that the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had asked Saraki to resign as Senate President following his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, he said since Saraki had left the ruling party, he should leave behind the ‘crown’ that belonged to it.

But speaking at the 81st National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of PDP, in Abuja on Thursday, Tambuwal who recently returned to the PDP from APC, also condemned alleged attempts by some National Assembly members to forcefully reconvene the Senate ahead of its September 25, 2018 resumption.

His words: “We cannot afford to allow our country to drift further. It is not about any interest, it is about this country. This country is on a cliff. We must retrieve it, we must exposition this country and restructure it for the benefit of Nigerians.

“When they talk about cross carpeting, I began to wonder. When I cross carpeted the other time, did they complain? When I hear that some people are trying to break into the chambers of the Senate to steal the mace and install a pseudo President of the Senate I wonder whether they actually know the rules of our democratic engagement. It’s not a Gestapo. We are in democracy. And the constitution of this country is very clear that members of the Senate and the House of Representatives can choose from among themselves their own President of the Senate or Speaker (of House of Representatives) without leaning to any political party. It is a question of confidence of members of the chambers.

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“So if the senators have confidence in Bukola Saraki, they should continue to sustain him as President of the Senate. And so be it with Mr Speaker, Dogara”.

While urging Nigerians not to be afraid, he declared that any attempt to toy with the future of Nigerians would be resisted.

“So nobody should be afraid. There is a process. And we must respect due process and rule of law. And Nigeria is not a banana republic. We will not take it from anybody. Let them hear it very clear. If you try it, we will match out our forces in this country and jam you. Because we are talking about democracy. We cannot afford to allow anybody – no matter how highly placed – to toy with the future of about 200 million people in this country. And it is just fine-tuning. Democracy is a process. It is not an end to itself. So, if the Senate President has decided as a matter of choice to shift base because of what is happening in the country, what is new about it? After all they have benefitted from it.

“The task is very great. We have no more time to waste. We must go round to convince Nigerians that this is not the government that we deserve. We must change the change and usher in a better democratic culture and good governance for this country,” he added.

On his part, Saraki emphasised the need for sacrifice among party members, even as he called for acceptance of defectors at the local levels.

The Number Three Citizen who also returned to the Party from APC few days ago, described the main opposition party as his true home and promised to join forces to oust the APC.

“I offer myself to ensure I continue to play my part, to continue to ensure that we defend our democratic principles in this country, we provide security and good leadership and good governance for everybody. But that is only possible if we are all united because not any one man or two or three can do it alone.

“The message that I will like to leave here with is a message of let us all work together so that these sacrifices will really be worth it in the interest of our people,” he said.

In the same token, PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, assured the new returnees that they would not be discriminated against by old members.

Besides Saraki and Tambuwal, other returnees at the event include: Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; former Kano State Governor and serving senator, Rabiu Kwankwaso; former PDP National Chairman and serving senator, Barnabas Gemade.

Others are: Ahmed Ibeto, Nigeria’s Ambassador to South Africa, who recently resigned his appointment and pitched his tent with the PDP and Dino Melaye, Chairman Senate Committee on FCT.

The party resolved to amend its constitution in line with the Not Too Young To Run Law.