Tambuwal Rejects Tukur's Plea

Tambuwal Rejects Tukur's Plea

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, in the early hours of Friday brushed aside pleas by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as the party’s governors to declare the seats of 37 PDP lawmakers who recently defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) vacant.

The speaker’s resistance came at the meeting the PDP’s national chairman, Bamanga Tukur, and members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) had with several top lawmakers at the Hilton Hotel in Abuja. The meeting started Thursday evening (Nigerian time) and ended in the early hours of Friday.

Mr. Tukur, who arrived at the venue of the meeting with some members of the party’s NWC, set the ball rolling by telling the lawmakers that the meeting would be frank. Before journalists were asked to leave the venue of the meeting, the PDP chairman stated that the meeting was a family affair. Speaking in a similar vein, the House Leader, Ms. Mulikat Akande, said the meeting would create a synergy between the legislators and the leadership of the party.

Two sources who attended the meeting told SaharaReporters that atmosphere became tense when Mr. Tukur demanded that the seats of the defected lawmakers should be declared vacant. “A majority of the lawmakers shouted him down,” said one source.

Exasperated, the national chairman placed a telephone call to Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State. Our sources said the governor rushed to the venue of the meeting with his counterparts from Bauchi (Isa Yuguda), Katsina (Ibrahim Shema) and Cross River (Liyel Imoke). Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa also joined the meeting later.

The atmosphere at the meeting was so charged that neither Speaker Tambuwal nor Governor Akpabio was enthusiastic to speak to the media at the end of the parley.

Mr. Tukur’s media aide, Oliver Okpala, did not allow most of the gathered journalists to ask Mr. Tukur any questions at the end of the meeting. Mr. Okpala only allowed a reporter from the government-owned National Television Authority (NTA) to ask Mr. Tukur two inconsequential questions.

Approached by reporters, Governor Dickson stated that Mr. Akpabio was the person to speak. However, Governor Akpabio ran from one exit door to another in order to avoid reporters.

SaharaReporters learned that, prior to meeting with the legislators, Mr. Tukur had met behind closed doors with the party’s governors at the Akwa Ibom Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja. A source at the meeting told SaharaReporters that many of the governors were not happy with Mr. Tukur’s management of the political crisis that has torn the party apart.

However, after the meeting, one of Mr. Tukur’s aides, Cairo Ojugboh, told some reporters that the governors had passed a vote of confidence in Mr. Tukur. “What Cairo Ojugboh told the media is a fabrication of what happened at the national chairman’s meeting with the executive governors,” one source said.

Source: Legit.ng

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