The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, said on Sunday that it was against the law of the land for anybody to start campaigning for elective positions in the 2015 poll when the Independent National Electoral Commission had yet to give politicians the nod to do so.
Tambuwal in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, dissociated himself from the posters flooding some parts of the Federal Capital Territory, promoting him as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress. Although, he thanked the promoters of the idea for considering him worthy to vie for the Presidency, the Speaker advised them not to violate the law by initiating campaign ahead of the official declaration by INEC.
The posters had paired Tambuwal and his Deputy, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, as president and vice-president respectively on the ticket of the APC.
Part of the statement, which was signed by the Speaker’s Special Adviser, Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Imam Imam, read, “While we thank them for deeming the Rt. Hon. Speaker fit for future elective office in the country, let it be known that since the Independent National Electoral Commission has not given the go-ahead for those interested in elective positions to start mobilisation, it is inappropriate for any person or group to print campaign posters and have them placed in strategic locations in any part of the country.
“Laws of the Federation are meant to be obeyed by all persons irrespective of their societal status.
“As a law abiding citizen, the Honourable Speaker will make known the direction of his political future and intention at the appropriate time.”
The statement neither dissociated the Speaker from the APC nor stress that he remained a committed member of the PDP.
On his part, Ihedioha dismissed the alleged links with the APC as “laughable, completely nonsensical” and coming at a time he was on a PDP assignment with President Goodluck
Ihedioha pledged his loyalty to the PDP, adding that since 2011, he had worked hard to reposition the party in his home state, Imo.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Oke Epia, read, “The general public is hereby urged to ignore the posters and see this incident as the handiwork of mischief makers who are advised to find better things to do with their time and resources.
“The deputy speaker is fully focused on and committed to rebuilding the Peoples Democratic Party nationally and in Imo State where he has remained a bulwark of the ruling party since the opposition took over the reins of government at that level in 2011.
“Nothing can distract the deputy speaker and other leaders of the party in Imo State from working conscientiously to dislodge the APC government in Imo State and also ensure victory for the party at the federal level in 2015.
“He assures his numerous supporters and associates both in Imo State and all over Nigeria that no amount of mischief can stop or derail the PDP train of progress moving into Imo with the Deputy Speaker in the driver’s seat.”
In spite of consistent denials by Tambuwal, speculation thickens that he has been considered as a possible APC presidential candidate.
A second plan, should that fail, is that he will probably run as the party’s governorship candidate in his home state, Sokoto, in 2015.
Tambuwal has refused to make a categorical statement on the issue, preferring to keep mum each time it is raised.
Last month, the House caucus of the PDP had endorsed Jonathan for a second term at a meeting held at the Aso Rock Villa, where Tambuwal, the most senior PDP official in the House, was absent.
The next day, Tambuwal merely blamed his absence on the excuse of being out of town to Sokoto.
He declined to comment on the outcome of the meeting, which endorsed Jonathan.
On the other hand, Ihedioha, had never been linked with the APC prior to the pasting of the controversial posters.
He is said to have his eye on the governorship seat in his state, but has reportedly worked largely behind the scenes for the PDP’s ticket till date.