“Why are you hiding?” the president asked the speaker.
A mild drama occurred at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa on Tuesday night as President Goodluck Jonathan dragged the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, before television cameras, shortly before the commencement of the closed-door meeting of the National Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The president’s action seemed an attempt to show journalists that Mr. Tambuwal was still a member of the PDP despite recent reports of his closeness to opposition leaders and his rumoured presidential ambition.
The speaker had boycotted major events organised by the presidency and his party including the second year anniversary of the Goodluck Jonathan administration and presentation of a mid-term report by the president.
He also recently condemned the leadership of the ruling party for the suspension of Sokoto Governor, Aliyu Wamakko. The suspension was later reversed.
Mr. Jonathan was walking alongside the Vice President, Namadi Sambo; Secretary to Government of the Federation, Pius Ayim; National Chairman of the Party, Bamanga Tukur; and Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Tony Anenih; when they were confronted by an array of cameras.
Perhaps realising that the Speaker was trying to avoid the cameras, Mr. Jonathan teased him, saying, “Why are you hiding? They want to see your face.”
The speaker also responded in a jocular manner.
“I am not hiding. I am your property,” he said, as they proceeded to the venue of the meeting which started at about 9.00 p.m.
The meeting is expected to discuss the ongoing crisis within the ruling PDP, including the expected exit of some members of the party’s National Working Committee; as well as the National Executive Committee meeting of the party scheduled for Thursday.