Senior American Senator Harry Reid Writes Nigerian Lower House Leader Aminu Tambuwal

Due to his incredibly amazing star-power, despite arrested performance in office, Obama of USA has virtually eclipsed other politicians in America. So, it would be excusable if many Nigerian political leaders do not know who Reid is. He is a senior American senator from Nevada. 

The 75 year-old Democrat was the Leader of the American senate until about 96 hours ago when his party lost the majority in the Senate to the Republicans in a mid-term election that the opposition party traditionally wins in America. 

Without getting into any legal, judicial, political or quasi-judicial gymnastics, and without any forms of prompting, he immediately issued a statement, congratulating his natural successor, former Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky who got instantaneous promotion because his Party now has more senate seats after snatching extra six from the Party and still counting. The felicitation reads, “I would like to congratulate Senator McConnell WHO WILL BE THE NEW SENATE MAJORITY LEADER (emphasis mine). The message from voters is clear; they want us to work together. I look forward to working with Senator McConnell to get things done for the middle class”.

That was a man of honour. Though McConnell would not assume his new office until January, Reid knew participatory democracy is a game of number where those in majority are expected to lead the minority. If the Senate arrangement could be argued not to be completely analogous to the office of Speaker in Nigerian democracy, let’s move over to the House of Representatives whose Speaker (same nomenclature with ours) is second in line to American presidency after the VP who is titular Senate head.

Incumbent Speaker Republican John Boehner from Ohio has had an interesting seat-shuffling career with Pelosi. She is both his successor and predecessor as the two parties interchangeably won and lost majority in the House over the years. When the Republicans took over the majority seats late 2010, Pelosi from California didn’t go into shadow-boxing with the Republicans. She simply congratulated Boehner and stepped down on January 3, 2011 after about four years in office. The 74-year old has since remained the Leader, despite being the only woman in America history to serve as Speaker and to date, its highest-ranking female politician. She is a woman of honour.

As Nigerian House Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila struggled with his puerile argument in defence of Aminu Tambuwal’s decision to retain the speakership after becoming a member of the minority party in the lower chamber, I almost lost hope in the political class in Nigeria. The NLC and others took their cue from him, in a mad-rush to out-do one another. Their submission: Section 50(1)(b) of the Constitution does not make it imperative for the Speaker to emerge from the majority party.

Is our democracy no longer modeled after America’s? Is ours no longer a presidential system of government where the party in majority controls governance? Why did his defunct ACN not present one its member for speakership in 2011 instead of engaging in legislative coup that enthroned Tambuwal? Why did he accept to be the minority leader? Did the constitution say expressly anywhere that the party in majority should produce House Leader? Why did he not challenge Mulikat Adeola-Akande in court for that seat? Why did he refer to Leo Ogor as the deputy Minority Leader when he thought his APC had garnered enough seats through a gale of defection to be in the majority? Why did he revert to his minority role when it dawned on him that the arithmetic threshold was not achieved? Must we bend the constitution to suit selfish agenda?

Now that we know politicians are incorrigible, future amendments should be more direct since politicians are getting more bent. For clarity, Edwin Ume-Ezeoke of NPP became speaker in the Second Republic because his party had pact with the ruling NPN. Minds you want to consider fecund, are also shockingly equating Tambuwal’s case with defecting governors’. Are the two institutions of governance, similarly structured?

The conspiratorial glee in media, judicial, political and diplomatic circles since that ex parte order, which could be interpreted in several ways (status quo would also mean that Tambuwal remains PDP) was granted, has been unmistaken.  Guesses could be hazarded. If so, why can’t Evans Bipi and his five PDP colleagues in Rivers House of Assembly lead the APC majority? So, what would be undemocratic in the PDP minority in Edo Assembly lording it over the APC majority? If Ekiti Speaker, Adewale Omirin, defects to PDP today as is allegedly being worked out, would APC concede the assembly leadership to PDP when still having the numerical advantage?  Men of honour would be joining an insanity party if Tambuwal and APC’s obvious immoral act is used in justifying PDP’s attempts at such obscenity in Edo, Ekiti and Rivers.

While Tambuwal’s membership of the House is debatable given the unfavourable subsisting judgement, he is constitutionally not the Speaker again and everything speakership should be taken away from him while the security due a floor member should be released to him. For someone who had his eyes on Jonathan’s job, before settling for Sokoto governorship, one would expect a political clout that needs no desperate speakership cushioning to fly. Benue State governor Gabriel Suswam was an ordinary member of the House from where he won the governorship. Does his desperation to keep what has become a “stolen seat” not indicative of his wool-weight as a politician and confirmative of being a make-weight to Aliyu Wammako?.

Tambuwal’s politics is alien to decency. He can’t be said to be in Reid and Pelosi’s league of honour. He must willingly relinquish that seat to be counted in their league.

Source: Nigerian Tribune
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  1. Who ever wrote this piece is an intelligent political analyst. I remove my hat

  2. I think u r d murron for accept d truth this guy is saying.don allow bokoharamic ideology to becloud ur good reasoning

  3. Writer you are on point. APC always bend the situation to their favors. Party of bloody men.



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