Uncategorized Nigeria parliament speaker defects to opposition

Nigeria parliament speaker defects to opposition

Nigeria's House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal
Nigeria’s House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal

 Nigeria’s House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal on Tuesday formally announced his defection from the ruling  Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC).

After a plenary session, Tambuwal said he was quitting the ruling party in order to hearken to “calls by the people of Sokoto State.”

The law requires him to announce his defection on the floor of the legislative assembly.

Tambuwal had long been expected to defect to the APC and was repeatedly seen at events organized or dominated by opposition politicians.

His rise to the speakership had been resisted by PDP powerbrokers but supported by opposition hawks and most of his colleagues in parliament’s 360-member lower house.

It is not clear yet if the ruling party – which currently holds 189 seats in the House – will seek to remove him as speaker.

But in a move apparently aimed at forestalling such a possibility, Tambuwal adjourned parliamentary activity to December 3, following the primaries of various parties.

The APC has 159 seats in the House, while other parties hold the remaining 12.

Analysts doubt that Tambuwal’s colleagues – from either side of the aisle – will move against him.

Tambuwal is the first man from a minority segment to preside over parliament in Nigeria’s political history.

At least 57 PDP House members and 11 senators quit the party last year to join the opposition, citing internecine rifts within the ruling party.

A court case by the PDP, which seeks to designate the seats of defecting lawmakers as empty, is still being heard. A court ruling is not expected before February general elections.

According to the Nigerian constitution, defectors must forfeit their seats unless their actions are necessitated by “divisions” within their respective parties.

The court has the final say on what constitutes a “division” within a political party.

Previous articleUS Hungary envoy under fire for attending protest
Next articlePoroshenko’s Son Becomes Member of Ukrainian Parliament