The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, has said he cannot stop members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the House from defecting to other political parties.
Tambuwal spoke in Abuja through the deputy spokesperson for the House, Mr. Victor Ogene, at the 11th Annual Trust Dialogue with the theme, ‘Incumbency and impunity in politics-safeguarding our democracy beyond 2015′.
The Managing Director of Trust, Mallam Kabiru Yusuf, said the dialogue was not to heat up the polity, but to add to its quality.
A former President of the Civil Liberties Organisation, Ms. Ayo Obe; a former Chairman of the Transition Monitoring group, Festus Okoye, and a Senior Fellow at Centre for Democracy, Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim, at the event, expressed fears about the level of impunity in the country ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Ogene, who represented Tambuwal at the event, said faulting the Speaker for reading the letter by members, who defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress, was an “encouragement of impunity”, was inappropriate.
He said, “All of us know that no fewer than four governors had defected from their political parties and issues were not made out of it. If some members, representing different federal constituencies decide to defect, I don’t think it is right for anybody to expect Mr. Speaker not to read the correspondence that comes to his table. He is first and foremost an embodiment and expression of the will of all members of the House.”
Ogene also faulted the letter written by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in response to the 50 questions given to her by the House.