The speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, yesterday dispelled growing rumours that he was on the verge of leaving the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for an opposition party.
Tambuwal told journalists at the Benin Airport, Edo State, yesterday that he was still a member of the PDP and was not set to leave the ruling party.
President Goodluck Jonathan had warned elected political officeholders under the platform of the PDP that the party would not hesitate to apply the big stick for anti-party activities and fraternising with the opposition.
The speaker has severally missed state and PDP functions for events organised by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which has fused with the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) to form the All Progressive Congress (APC).
“I am still a member of the PDP. I remain in the PDP, I am a PDP, I am hearing that rumour from you,” Tambuwal said, laughing. `
President Jonathan was reported to have warned that the “new PDP” would not condone indiscipline, after accusing some of the leading lights of openly fraternising with the opposition.
On the 2013 budget impasse, Tambuwal, who was in Benin City, Edo State, as a guest of the deputy governor, Dr Pius Odubu, on his birthday and wedding anniversary, said that consultations were on and, at the appropriate time, Nigerians would benefit from it.
“Well, you know it is all about consultation and we will keep talking to ourselves and ensure that Nigerians get the best out of it. But I assure you that what the National Assembly is doing is to ensure that the Nigerian people get the best out of the situation. We are not there to undermine the interest of Nigerians; we will be the last people to ever do that.”
Thousands of ACN supporters led by Odubu rolled out the drums to give a rousing welcome to Tambuwal.
Also on Thursday night, Rivers State governor and chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Chief Rotimi Amaechi, refuted the speculation that he was making moves to join the yet-to-be-registered APC, having allegedly taken over the structures of the new political group in the state.
The governor vowed to remain a member of the PDP despite his current ordeals with the leadership of the party both at the national and state levels.
Amaechi spoke in Port Harcourt while reacting to allegations levelled against him by the state chairman of the PDP, Mr Felix Obuah, when he led a delegation to visit President Jonathan in Abuja.
Obuah had alleged that the governor was making efforts to destabilise the party in Rivers before crossing over to the APC.
But Amaechi, who spoke through the commissioner for information and communications, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, said although the PDP chairman was entitled to his opinion, “he should not seek relevance by constituting himself into a trouble-maker”.
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