By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA — OUTGOING Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has said that his absence from the House after he has been sworn in as the Governor of Sokoto State will not lead to any form of constitutional crisis.
Tambuwal, who spoke at an interactive session with members of the House of Representatives Press Corps said: ”We never envisaged this kind of development but thank God there is a provision in our House Rules which stipulates that we can vacate via a motion making it possible for my deputy to preside till the House finally disengages. We’ll do that to avert any form of shut down due to my absence immediately I’m sworn in on May 29.”
Contrary to insinuations that Tambuwal is scheming to block the election of a new Speaker to replace him and preside over the House for the remaining days in the life of the 7th Assembly, Tambuwal denied existence of such a scheme.
He said: “At the closed session we had, we discussed about the situation of who presides over the House as I bow out. Because by Friday, I will cease to be a member of this House. And this is the first time such a thing is happening that a sitting Speaker will take another oath of office even before his tenure as Speaker ends, and the constitution did not envisage this.
“Incidentally, our rules provide that in the event that the Speaker ceases to be either by reasons of natural causes or a situation like mine, a new Speaker will be elected at the next seating.
“That the Clerk will notify the House of the vacuum and election will be held to bring about another Speaker.
“However, as we were brainstorming, a member came up with not necessarily a doctrine of necessity but an ingenious way of solving the situation.
“He suggested that since it is our rules, we can simply move a motion to suspend that aspect of the rules to allow the Deputy Speaker to continue to conduct the affairs of the House until the life span of the 7th House comes to an end.”
He added that there is no way he would try to scuttle the natural course of things against the provision of the constitution, especially when it relates to the institution he holds so dear.
He said: “This House as an institution is bigger than myself and very dear to me. I cannot under any circumstance try to cause any unnecessary disaffection within the institution that has done so much for me as an individual.
“It’s not my private property and as such cannot be taken as a private property.”