The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has confirmed attending a key meeting of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, in Sokoto State, Monday, amid renewed speculation of his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
In a statement late Monday, the speaker said he was still consulting on his political future and will make his decision public at the appropriate time.
He did not say exactly whether he has finally dumped the ruling party.
But associates of the speaker told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Tambuwal, long out of favour with the ruling PDP, finally declared for the APC Monday, telling other APC officials at the meeting to accept him as “one of you starting from today”.
One source said “What does that tell you, will they allow someone that is not their member attend their meeting?”
Those who spoke asked not to be named. They said the speaker’s reluctance to make a formal announcement may be part of his effort to ensure he does not jeopardize his position as speaker after decamping to the APC.
The Sokoto meeting was for APC officials to choose a consensus candidates for the state’s gubernatorial and other elections.
While Mr. Tambuwal has remained officially a PDP speaker, he has been absent from key party functions for a while.
In his statement, Mr. Tambuwal said he attended a “political family” meeting at the instance of Sokoto State governor, Aliyu Wammako. The meeting was to discuss the future of the state, he said.
The speaker said he close to attend the meeting after he was snubbed by a PDP delegation to Sokoto State on Monday.
The delegation, led by the party’s Board of Trustees chairman, Tony Anenih, travelled to the state for reconciliation talks with estranged party members.
Mr. Tambuwal said he was not invited to the meeting despite his position as speaker, and as a member of the party’s National Executive Committee, NEC.
“That Rt. Hon Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal was later invited by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, to attend the meeting of their political family to discuss the political future of Sokoto State,” the statement signed by Mr. Tambuwal’s spokesperson, Imam Imam, said.
The statement said the meeting also had in attendance “prominent Sokoto citizens many of who have no known political affiliation”.
The most notable was the Sardauna of Sokoto and former Minister of Finance, Abubakar Alhaji.