THE TAMBUWAL TABOO – By Zik Zulu Okafor

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Zik Zulu MastheadSimon Kolawole, Thisday columnist, is a writer with a unique style to his pen. He brings a tinge of humour to bear on even the gravest of subjects. I admire him for his consistency.

On Sunday, November 23, 2014, he wrote what he called The Tambuwal Test for our Democracy. Kolawole went on to lament over his tearful eyes as he watched the police and the law makers’ theatrics of shame as the law enforcement agents tried to prevent the law makers from gaining entrance, into their famed ‘hallowed’ but ever desecrated Chambers of the National Assembly.

The Founder and Chief Executive of Cable, publishers of The Cable, a start-up online newspaper, then went on to ask if Tambuwal could still remain the Speaker of the House after his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC). His answer to the above question is “Yes”. Reason? He said the constitution did not state that the Speaker must emerge from the party in the majority.Aminu-Tambuwal

I will address this now. First I wish to remind Tambuwal and not Kolawole that if he too is also latching on to Kolawole’s subjective theory, then he should quickly resign his position. And my reason is simple. If he deemed himself a super politician with fame that transcends the abyss that separate parties, then he should come into the House through a minority party and then go ahead to clinch the speakership. He cannot wear the loud toga of PDP into the House, became the Speaker and then suddenly defect to another party and expect to continue savouring the perks and privileges that the big umbrella helped guarantee. That is crass depravity.

Yes, I agree with Kolawole that it is not expressly stated in the constitution that the Speaker of the House must come from the ruling party. But those who framed our constitution, I am almost sure, did not imagine that a Speaker holding such a solemn responsibility, given the collective mandate to lead their envisioned respectable House, would contemplate defecting from a party under which he assumed the mandate. More embarrassing, refusing to resign from that position after defection. Honour hadn’t taken a ghastly knock at that time.

Yes, it is not in the constitution. But I want Kolawole or anyone at that to show me any democracy in the world where a speaker is from a minority or opposition party.

Kolawole, however went further to ask whether Tambuwal ought to remain in the House after his defection. To this he said, “No” and quoted the constitution to back up his position. I consider my friend, Kolawole’s answer as a contradiction of his first. The framers of the constitution in their untrammeled wisdom stated clearly that a person that defected from the party under which he or she came to the House must resign on defection. That settles the matter. So, how could you remain a speaker when the law commands you to vanish from the House?

The truth then is that Aminu Waziri Tambuwal’s term from the moment of defection is a political taboo. But defection has been a benchmark if not the hallmark of his career. He had started out a member of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, (ANPP) He came to this House through this party. But he would soon follow Attahiru Bafarawa, former governor of his home state, Sokoto, to defect to Democratic Peoples Party, (DPP) When he was denied the ticket to re-contest election into the House, he returned to ANPP once again, contested, and won.

Like a man with a floundering ideology, if any, Tambuwal was soon on the move again. This time, the governorship candidate of his party, Alhaji Aliyu Wamako, dumped ANPP for PDP. Tambuwal tagged along.

Now, he has done it again. And his ship berthed at APC.

For a political career that has seen only 11 years. Tambuwal has changed parties five times. Haba! I can’t help but wonder how the people of Kebbi/Tambuwal Federal Constituency continue to vote for this young man whose every step seems goaded by personal ambition.

Here was a political minded guy that between 1999 and 2000 was only a Personal Assistant on Legislative Affairs to Senator Abdullahi Wali. By 2003, he had won election to the Federal House of Representatives. And he has been there ever since, rising from Deputy Chief Whip in 2007 to 2011 and then Speaker from 2011 to date.

No question, Tambuwal has run the political ladder with the speed of a tornado. Dreams that appeared quixotic a few years ago have transformed into cashable realities. He should therefore discard this pseudo-populism and hybrid aluta tendency like the type that spurred this piece.

No matter how much the media may try to burnish his action, this seemingly calculated attempts to portray him as the poster boy and bulwark of the rule of Law and separation of powers against an encroaching PDP Satanism, may never fly.

In simple lingua, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal should stop hopping party wagons. He should ask himself, ‘how do I want to be remembered?’ Just as a politician winning elections while drenched in a gulf of dishonour?

I worry about Tambuwal. I worry about APC, his party.

APC, the progressives party supports Tambuwal. And staunchly backs his incongruous ambition to remain a Speaker from a minority party there in the Federal House in Abuja. The same APC and Tambuwal, vehemently condemn a man from a minority party (PDP) from becoming a Speaker in Ekiti House.

My last word? No man can defraud history.

 

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