House of Representatives on Sunday described the plot by unnamed forces to impeach the Speaker, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, as “laughable”.
According to the lawmakers, no amount of pressure will stop the House from considering the subsidy probe report on Tuesday.
The lawmaker’s backing for their Speaker coincided with the Congress for Progressive Changes’s decision to independently investigate the report of the Farouk Lawan-Ad Hoc Committee on fuel subsidy payments.
Also, the President of Campaign for Democracy, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said the report of the subsidy probe was beyond Tambuwal.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, told The PUNCH in Abuja on Sunday that there were no reasons to have the removal of Tambuwal on the agenda of the House.
He said, “Why would the Speaker be impeached? The House mandated its committee to investigate the subsidy regime and that has been done.
“The report is to be considered on Tuesday and nothing will stop us from doing that.
“But we won’t rule out the fact that people are trying to discredit the report; they want to discredit the leadership so that the report will not hold water.”
Mohammed, who did not disclose those working to discredit the report, said the lawmakers were not prepared to compromise on the report.
Our correspondent learnt that lawmakers had vowed to back Tambuwal against any “selfish interests”, especially where the aim is to cover up the fraud uncovered by the fuel subsidy investigation.
A Peoples Democratic Party lawmaker confided in The PUNCH in Abuja that the “image of the House is at stake in this fuel subsidy report, not party politics”.
The source said, “I am not sure where this purported impeachment plot is coming from; certainly not from the PDP because they know that it won’t work.
“Recall that in June 2011, the same PDP wanted to impose a candidate on the House as its choice for the post of speaker.”
The Minority Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, also said the impeachment rumour was a “figment of the imagination of those who think that they can impeach Tambuwal.”
The Action Congress of Nigeria lawmaker compared the unity among members to situation between 1999 and 2003 when Umar Na’Abba was the speaker.
He said, “In the days of (former President Olusegun) Obasanjo, with all his powers, he failed in his bid to remove a Speaker (Ghali Na’Abba) because the whole House said no.
The PUNCH learnt that opposition parties in the House had already called a meeting for Monday night (tonight) to discuss the report and take a position ahead of Tuesday’s session.
A source told our correspondent that the ACN, CPC, All Nigerian Peoples Party and All Progressives Grand Alliance lawmakers would attend the meeting to be held at an undisclosed Abuja hotel.
“The meeting is fixed for 7pm on Monday night; there, we shall consider the report and take a position,” a source said.
The CPC National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, advised Tambuwal not to be intimidated by the impeachment threat.
Fashakin stated, “The CPC is set to apply for the CTC of the fuel subsidy report. We shall do perspicacious study of it and move appropriately.”
He added, “Tambuwal needs not fear, but just be focused because he got the position largely because of the support of the opposition parties and not the corruption-propelled PDP.”
Okei-Odumakin said, “Our people are angry with this high wire looting. They have bled us white, those guilty must be prosecuted.”
by Niyi Odebode and John Ameh
by Niyi Odebode and John Ameh