Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, said on Tuesday that it had now dawned on her that the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, his Deputy, Emeka Ihedioha, and Deputy House Leader, Leo Ogor, played a fast one on her over Tambuwal’s defection.
Tambuwal had jolted his colleagues last Tuesday by announcing his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress and immediately adjourned the House to December 3.
The motion for adjournment was already moved by Mrs. Akande-Adeola.
The majority leader and indeed members of the PDP, who are in the majority in the green chamber, have since come under severe backlash from the national leadership of the party and the Presidency for not pre-empting Tambuwal’s defection as well as checkmating his lengthy adjournment of the House.
But, speaking in Abuja on Tuesday for the first time, the House leader tried to exonerate herself, saying that she had no premonition of the speaker’s defection until he announced it on the floor of the House on October 28.
She added that, it was until he defected that it dawned on her that there was a game going on, which Tambuwal, Ihedioha and Ogor knew about but kept from her.
Akande-Adeola stated, “At that point in the chamber, I didn’t feel anyhow but after he made his statement then I knew that there was something that must have been planned that I was not aware of.
“Because if you know me very well, I am someone; I deal with everyone on equal basis and I have a very open mind. I don’t think it would have been out of place for the speaker to even tell me that leader, I am moving tomorrow. I don’t think that would have been out of place.
“The only thing would have been may be to ask him a few questions and all that. We are colleagues in the House. We represent different constituencies.
“What is good for him may not be good for me. He has his reasons for doing whatever he has done. But I would have expected that I was told no matter what. So, that is just it.”
She recalled that before the motion for adjournment was moved, she asked Ihedioha and Ogor if the speculated defection plan of Tambuwal was true since it was not happening, but both officials brushed off her concerns”.
The Majority leader disclosed that a meeting of the leadership had taken place a day to the defection, where the issue of the appropriate date for the adjournment was discussed.
She claimed to have opposed the lengthy adjournment to December 3 because it did not tally with that of the Senate, which was November. 4.
Akande-Adeola added that she even reported to the meeting that December 3 was not realistic because the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, had already briefed her that the red chamber would reconvene on November 4.
However, she said her own opposition to the lengthy adjournment was overruled by the majority of the nine members of the leadership in attendance, including Tambuwal.
She admitted that the meeting eventually agreed to the December 3 date after it was agreed by all that the break would be used for oversight duties and party primaries.
She also clarified that Tambuwal’s defection was not on the agenda for discussion at the meeting neither was mention of it made throughout the session.
“So, after all the reasoning and everything, we agreed that okay, first, members should go and work on their tickets and that the House will adjourn for the first two weeks, let members conclude all the reports in the various committees. And the following two weeks will be for oversight functions towards the budget. That was what we agreed”, she added.