What Ethical Right Does Tambuwal Have To Remain As Speaker?

According to legal dictionary, ethics is the branch of philosophy that defines what is good for individual and society as well as establish the nature of obligations or duties that people owe themselves and one another. In modern society, ethics define how individuals, professionals, communities and corporations chose to interact as well as relate with others.

The word ethics is derived from the Greek Word. Ethos means character. So, Aristotle been one of the first great philosophers to study ethics stated that, ethics was more than a moral, religious or legal concept. He believed that the most important element in ethical behavior is the knowledge that actions are accomplished for the betterment of the common good. He asked whether actions performed by individuals or groups are good both for an individual or group for society. To determine what is ethically good for the individual and for society, Aristotle said, it is necessary to possess three virtues of practical wisdom which are; temperance, courage and justice. It is within this context that, I will be adding my perspective to Honourable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal's defection from the ruling People's Democratic Party PDP to the opposition All Progressives Congress APC without moving from the majority seats to the minority seats in the House of

On October 28, 2014, the Speaker of the lower chamber of our National Assembly, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal finally put to rest many months of speculations concerning his membership of the ruling PDP by publicly defecting to the opposition APC. His word: “Before I hit the gavel on the motion for adjournment, I want to make this formal announcement to this House. Based on the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and having regards to the development of PDP in my own state, Sokoto State, I hereby announce my membership with the All Progressives Congress APC.”

However, the issue is not that he defected to the APC because the case on cross carpeting is still in the court, but, having defected, he should have acknowledged the fact that he has joined the minority party and as a result, he ought to have vacated the post of speakership which is meant for the party with the majority in the House, instead of defecting honourably and dishonorably holding on to the position he no longer deserve.

Nevertheless, APC being a party with penchant for wooing people in to its fold without conditions, Honourable Tambuwal might have reasoned that, since the PDP primary elections would be conducted in November before the party adjusted its timetable for the primaries during weekend, adjourning the House activities to December would give him and the party the needed time frame to lobby and woo some House members who would be denied the party's returning ticket; because some of them are currently having running battles with their state governors. And with these governors being field marshals in their various states, by being in control of the PDP machineries in their domains it is only those they anoint that would be returned. So, some of the House members who would be denied returning tickets of the PDP would have no other option than to defect to the opposition All Progressives Congress APC after the primary.

In this regard, even if some of them would not like to defect, APC leaders would induce them to defect with the assurance of offering them automatic tickets and other mouth watering promises just to ensure that, before the House resumes in December, APC would become the majority party in the House so as to defend Tambuwal's position as speaker. Hence, Tambuwal would only be resuming to announcing and welcoming new members who have joined him in the new APC.

Besides, since APC leaders have declared themselves as open enemies of the Jonathan's administration, they would do everything within their power to defend Tambuwal's position because they are going to use him to hold the President to ransom thereby causing a lot of filibustering in the House before any executive bill is passed in to law. The first test case would be the 2015 appropriation and some other bills that would need the concurrence of the House of Representatives. It is because of this that some of the opposition figures are issuing different types of threats concerning alleged attempts to reconvene the House.

Furthermore, the last thing President Jonathan needs at this very moment is the House of Representatives controlled by the opposition. It will be recalled that this same opposition party and its leaders had earlier in the year called for both the impeachment of the President and the shutdown of the government. This happened when the speaker of the House was not officially on their side, so, now that the speaker is officially on their side, one can now imagine what will happen. The least thing to expect is what happened in the United States last year, where the Republican controlled House Speaker, Mr. John Boehner held President Barrack Obama on hostage by refusing to enact legislation appropriating funds for the 2014 fiscal year over the inclusion of Obama Care in to the appropriation. That alone led to the shutdown of the United States Federal Government for about 15 days which resulted in the loss of jobs for more than 1 million Americans. This

happened a year after the 2012 US Presidential Election. But, here in Nigeria, our own opposition inclined speaker waited for few months in to the February 2015 General elections to defect to the opposition party that have tried all it could, but failed woefully in its efforts to discredit, denigrate and even bring down this government. So, Tambuwal's defection has always been one of the prayer points of the APC. And from the tone of their language, they are ready to do everything humanly possible to defend Tambuwal's position, because it is the last tool they hope to use to incite Nigerians against the president and as well justify their description of him as “clueless”.

Therefore, I think the Presidency and the leadership of the ruling People's Democratic Party PDP should be more strategic than confrontational in their response to Tambuwal's defection. Apart from reviewing the timetable for primaries to take care of any exigency that may arise, I must add that if it means granting all the current House members automatic ticket for next year's election in to the lower chamber of the National Assembly, they should do it to strategically and peacefully neutralize every plot of the opposition against Jonathan's Government and his re-election bid next year. So, that, by the time the House officially resumes on December 3rd, Tambuwal will have no other reason to give for still remaining as Speaker of the House of Representatives because the reality that he has joined the minority party and the party has remained a minority in the House would have dawned on him, so his calculation for defecting and adjourning the

House for about a month in anticipation that circumstances would turn his new party to majority would definitely become futile.

Comrade Edwin Uhara is a Political Strategist, an Activist, Public Affairs Commentator and a Member of PDP Project Reloaded Media Team, Abuja.

Reach him on 07065862479 or [email protected]

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Articles by Edwin Uhara