A plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to suspend the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, over his alleged romance with the opposition, has hit the rocks.
The Speaker’s home chapter of the PDP in Tambuwal Local Government Area of Sokoto State rebuffed the national leadership of the party which had launched a hate campaign against him.
The plan was for the PDP local chapter to announce Tambuwal’s expulsion last Thursday with the national leadership intervening by converting the expulsion to suspension “pending further investigation.”
However, party sources said the local executive members of the party saw through the instigation and declared that it was beyond them to expel him.
They advised those who had complaints against the Speaker to lodge same with the state executive council of the party.
“The plan was to get the L.G.A chapter of the party to expel the Speaker. If that had happened, the national leadership would have intervened by revoking the expulsion order and placing the Speaker on suspension while it claims to be looking into the allegations against him,” sources said.
“That way, other lawmakers plotting to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) would have been cowed. But in spite of the heavy pressure mounted on them, the leadership of the PDP in the council declined to go all the way with the plan. Instead, they requested that those with genuine complaints against Tambuwal should report him to the state executive committee.”
The Nation also learnt that days before the botched meeting, some chieftains of the party in the state had gone round urging PDP members in the LGA to append their signatures and names to a “vote of no confidence” motion meant to be passed on the Speaker after his planned expulsion.
It was however gathered that the Speaker survived the plot through the intervention of Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko. The Governor, according to sources, prevailed upon the party chieftains in Tambuwal not to allow themselves to be used to disturb the peace of the state.
“The governor, though no longer a member of the PDP, enjoys the respect of many of the leading chieftains of the party, especially at the grassroots level. Aside that, he was able to explain to the politicians that any move that is capable of threatening the position of Tambuwal as the Speaker will create chaos in Sokoto State,” one source said.
The national leadership of the party is understood to have compiled a list of allegations against the Speaker with which it intended to defend the planned suspension.
The Nation learnt that senior party officials are not only displeased with the Speaker for his close relationship with the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) , they are also irked by his recent criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan.”His recent criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan and the party leadership and his presence at a meeting of APC stalwarts in Abuja are some of the reasons why the party wants to place him on suspension as soon as possible. He will soon be suspended,” a party source said.
It was also gathered that the current move against Tambuwal may be pre-emptive. According to party sources, some chieftains of the party and some senior presidency officials are of the opinion that it is better to take the shine off Tambuwal’s rumoured defection by kicking him out of the party first.
“Convinced that nothing can be done to stop the Speaker from joining the APC sooner or later, some stalwarts of the party within the presidency and the party leadership has been able to convince Tukur and Jonathan that it is better to kick him out of the party before he announces his defection to the APC. That way, they feel the shine will be taken off the Speaker’s alleged planned exit from the PDP.
Tambuwal may also have drawn the ire of his party leaders with his presence at a rally recently organised by the Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko. The governor, along with four other governors of the PDP, recently defected to the opposition APC.
Before dumping the PDP, Wamakko himself was suspended by the party for allegedly disrespecting the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
Tambuwal is close to the Governor.
Among other things, 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.