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Saturday, 12 April 2014

Reps uncover fresh plot against Tambuwal

Reps uncover fresh plot against Tambuwal
Speaker House of REPS Hon. Tambuwal

by: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

A fresh plot to unseat Speaker Aminu Tanmuwal of the House of Representatives has been exposed.
The plot came to light on Wednesday at a close-door meeting of the Representatives.
The day was, however, only saved by the maturity of the Speaker and his loyalists who are in the majority, sources said yesterday.
So charged was the session that anti-Tanmbuwal Reps created a scene with a female member of the House, said to be loyal to a minister from the South-South, mounting a table to shout at the Speaker. A crisis almost erupted in the process.
A principal officer of the House(who is interested in becoming Speaker) and two loyalists of the serving minister are the arrowheads of the plot,it was gathered.
Some governors are also alleged to be part of the plot.
Their specific roles were not clear at press time.
What is clear is that the three plotters, alongside some pro-Presidency Representatives, had on Wednesday asked the Speaker to account for every Kobo budgeted for the House.
They sought details on how the House votes had been spent.
They also demanded an increase in their quarterly allowances and running costs as preconditions for passing the 2014 Budget.
But majority of the members saw through their demands and put up a resistance ,leaving the arrowheads to rue what might have been.
One source said: ” At a point, a female Representative from the South-South climbed a table and started shouting and banging the table to provoke the Speaker and his supporters.
“With the support of some members, she asked the Speaker to render an account of how the House budget had been spent. The agitators also said the 2014 Budget would not be passed if the allowances payable to members were not increased by the leadership.”
A member from the South-East said: “They even said there was need to increase the allowances because the election year is almost here and members would have to spend more.
“Some of us, however, suspected foul play when a hitherto reserved and eloquent female member rose up to cause a scene over nothing.
“Initially since her point was on money, there was sympathy, but when members discovered that the agitators were after the Speaker, they lost our sympathy.”
A Representative from the North-West said: “The truth is that these forces are after the Speaker and they have mapped out a four-point plot.
“The plot entails creating disorder in the House to slight the Speaker; awaiting court judgment on 37 Representatives who defected to APC to create rumpus in the House; planning to use the tyranny of PDP majority to hold the House leadership to ransom; and removal of Speaker Tambuwal.
“But they have forgotten that they cannot force a Speaker on the House even if PDP is in the majority. What is the likelihood that the PDP candidate will be acceptable to members who are mostly independent.
“I hope they will not stoke the fire of North-South war in the House. Tambuwal’s leadership transcends party lines.”
Another Representative said: “Most members did not buy into it. So, the plot fell flat on its face. They wanted to use the agitation for enhanced allowances as baits to cause crisis in the House, but members resisted them. They are the same forces who had wanted to lead the House but were rejected.
“It was shocking that those who claimed to be loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan did not want the House to pass the 2014 Budget unless more allowances were paid to them by the leadership.
“This contradiction made many of us to suspect that there was a bigger picture behind the sudden agitation by the affected members.
“These forces have not been happy that the Speaker refused to declare the seats of some Representatives who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) vacant.
“They decided to latch on any issue to cause commotion in the House and embarrass Tambuwal.”
A Principal Officer said: “The Speaker gave a satisfactory response which was acceptable to members. He said the budget of the National Assembly had remained at N150billion and he could not exceed appropriation limit.
“Tambuwal reminded members that the same scenario of more allowances forced the House under ex-Speaker Dimeji Bankole to take N10billion loan from a bank.
“He said at the end of the day, Bankole was sacrificed by members as he was made to face an avoidable trial.
“At the end of it all, Tambuwal was firm when he declared: ‘I won’t take loan to pay more allowances to members. I won’t go beyond House budget.’ ”
TheNation

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