How APC leadership-aided Tambuwal/Ihedioha rebellion in 2011 shaped PDP resurgence


Aminu Tambuwal

The elections of Senator Bukola Saraki as president of Senate and Yakubu Dogara as speaker of House of Representatives against position of the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership did not come to many APC leaders and the presidency as a surprise The Guardian learnt yesterday.

A caucus member of the party disclosed yesterday that immediately after the general elections, the party leaders met with the members of National Working Committee (NWC) leadership and discussed the issue of zoning, taking into cognize that the Southeast where the Senate president was zoned before election could not produce a senator on the party platform.

According to the caucus member, the offices of the President, Senate Leader, deputy speaker, House whip were zoned to the Northwest.

“The Northeast was given the position of Board of Trustees (BoT). Other positions zoned to Northeast include Senate president, National Secretary and House leader. Also zoned to the North Central zone were Deputy Senate president, Deputy House leader and Senate Chief Whip. Positions zoned to the Southwest include Vice president, Speaker, deputy Senate leader.

South-South zone will retain the office of the National chairman with the offices of the House Chief Whip and deputy Senate whip added to it. For the Southeast zone were the offices of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), and Secretary Board of Trustees (BoT).

The member said the zoning was done on the basis of the performance of the party during the election in each of the six geo-political zones in the country.

“The leadership of the party was expected to call a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party, where the zoning formula will be ratified by the members, but the party leadership failed to call the NEC meeting.

“The leadership of the party in collaboration with a powerful leader of the party from the south started propping up some elected national assembly party members to occupy the positions.

That was how the Lawan/ Akume ticket for Senate president and deputy and Femi Gbajabiamila and Tahir Monguno ticket for speaker/ deputy was arranged by the leader and the party leadership without due consultation with other party leaders and members.

President Buhari’s position that he can work with anybody elected by the national assembly members as their leader is not unconnected with the intrigues that trailed the party leadership position on the matter.

“That was how counter forces and aggrieved members of the APC decided to throw up Saraki to counter the overbearing the political godfather from the south and the leadership of the party.

That was why major party leaders distanced themselves from Lawan/ Akume, Gbajabiamila/ Monguno tickets from inception and worked behind the scene for the emergence of Saraki and Dagoro yesterday.”

It was also disclosed that the PDP senators’ alliance that threw up Saraki as Senate president was struck in Abuja on the wee hour of Tuesday morning with the backing of a former president on the party platform, PDP governors, some APC governors and some APC leaders who do not like the overbearing influence of the APC political godfather in the party and polity.

Repeat of Tambuwal/ Ihedioha syndrome After the 2011 general elections, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) zoned the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives to the Southwest. Penciled down to occupy the exalted position was Hon. Mrs Mulikat Akande-Adeola.

But unknown to the leadership of the PDP, and the Presidency, some PDP members in collaboration with the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) members in the House have plotted to go against the PDP zoning arrangement.

It was disclosed that the arrowhead of the plot was Hon. Farouk Lawan from Kano; a man that the PDP leadership saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that Akande-Adeola emerged.

On the floor of the House on June 9, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal against all odds was voted in a keenly contested race between him and Mulikat Akande-Adeola. Tambuwal, the former deputy whip, scored 252 votes to Akande-Adeola’s 90 votes.

The total votes cast was 340 with eight invalid votes and one member abstaining. Tambuwal’s nomination was made by Rep. Emmanuel Jime (PDP-Benue) and seconded by Rep. Nnenna Ukeje (PDP-Abia).

Tambuwal, represented Kebbi/Tambuwal federal constituency of Sokoto State. The new Speaker was elected into the House for the first term in 2003. The election which was conducted through an open secret- ballot system was handled by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa.

Also, Rep. Emeka Ihedioha (PDP-Imo), the former chief whip of the House of Representatives was elected Deputy Speaker unopposed.

Ihedioha like the speaker was elected into the House in 2003. Rep. Musa Adar (PDP-Sokoto), the former chairman, House of Representatives committee on electoral matters nominated him while Rep. Friday Itulah seconded.

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