Pro-Jonathan Reps pull out of plots to remove Tambuwal
Still licking the wounds of their mass failure at the primaries of their various political parties, some members of the House of Representatives are currently demoralised, The PUNCH has learnt.
Investigations by The PUNCH on Monday revealed that the hardest hit group were the Peoples Democratic Party members known to have openly canvassed for support for President Goodluck Jonathan in the House.
It was gathered that because of the loss they suffered at the primaries, many of the Pro-Jonathan lawmakers had backed out of the plot by the PDP and the Presidency to remove the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal.
The PUNCH learnt that tension was high as the lawmakers got set to reconvene on Tuesday (today) after the primaries.
It was gathered that, at least, five PDP lawmakers, who wanted to be governor, lost out at the primaries, which also foreclosed their chances of returning to the House in 2015.
Across all the political parties, more than 150 out of 360 members, failed to scale through the primaries.
One angry PDP member said, “Morale is very low and for many of us PDP members, we are not happy.
“A lot of things went the wrong way due to the manipulation of all the congresses where the party, using the governors, schemed many members out of the primaries.”
It was learnt that, some members, who “stuck out their necks” for Jonathan during turbulent times, claimed they did so hoping that it would secure them a return ticket.
One member recalled that when the All Progressives Congress used its members in the House to “orchestrate all sorts of shenanigans” against Jonathan, his supporters in the House did everything to defend him.
“However, there has been no favour done to us; we lost out.
“Some members were not even allowed to contest the primaries because they were told pointedly not to waste their time,” another lawmaker stated.
One vocal supporter of Jonathan in the House is Mr. Bitrus Kaze, a PDP lawmaker from Plateau State.
He will not be at the House next year, as he was edged out of the primaries.
Kaze confirmed that pro-Jonathan legislators were demoralised because the PDP and the Presidency reportedly did not “reciprocate” the sacrifice they made for the President over time.
He spoke further, “Let me tell you the truth; members are demoralised. Pro-Jonathan members are not happy; there is nothing to reciprocate their gesture and support for the President.
“The congresses leading to the primaries were flawed; there were so many complaints in nearly every state.
“As a result, some members did not even contest; it was that bad.”
It will be recalled that in January, Kaze coordinated a group in the House, National Unity Group, to confront the APC lawmakers over the latter’s threat to stall (filibuster) the passage of the 2014 budget.
The NUG, a coalition of members across party lines, had the PDP, the Accord Party, Labour Party and the All Progressives Grand Alliance lawmakers in its fold.
The group helped to neutralise the threat of the APC members.
Kaze, who confirmed that many members were embittered, advised the PDP and the Presidency to drop its bid to remove Tambuwal, for now or make comments that could further annoy the members.
He argued that such a plan would not fly with the current mood in the House.
“This is not the time to come and talk about removing the Speaker.
“People are angry here; so they should forget that one for now,” Kaze added.
Asked whether the anger could stall the passage of the 2015 budget as a way of getting at Jonathan, Kaze replied that nothing of such would happen.
He explained that the budget was for the entire country and not Jonathan’s property.
“The budget is a separate issue; it is for the running of the whole country. Nobody will say stop the budget because of Jonathan,” he added.